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K. S. (Kathy) Ernst


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K.S. (Kathy) Ernst was born in St. Louis, MO, but spent most of her adult life in New Jersey about an hour from New York City. Much of Ernst’s work is painted, collaged, or digital. Ernst also does work using three-dimensional letters: these may be free-standing sculptures or poems in books with pages made of wood. Other sculptural objects have three-dimensional non-alphabetic subjects that take the place of part of the text. Many of her digital pieces are designed for output in very large format.


I am fascinated by words and letters as symbols —their basic symbolic make-up as well as their representational use. The spoken word is just noise, and a written word is only a marking, both meant to represent something else. Words provide a vehicle for a person to attempt to describe his or her perceptions to another. This act, though, is at best an ephemeral and incomplete one due to the nature of language.

It is words and letters rather than a given medium that form a common thread through all my work. I consider all of my work to be visual poetry no matter what the form or format. Some of it is in the more traditional form of words and letters on paper; some is in artists’ books or book object format; some is sculpture or assemblage; some is collage; some is done as photographs; and some is in computer files, either still or kinetic.