13 February 2024

Location, Location, Location

Kailey Coppens investigates
what makes a home


by Kate Mothes

Throughout the last 26 years, Kailey Coppens moved frequently, living in more than 15 houses and apartments. “My experiences in these temporary living situations have sparked a curiosity about what makes a home,” the artist says. “As I reflect on the spaces I’ve had to leave behind, I find myself drawn to the colors, patterns, and materials that persist even as the walls around them change.”

In a practice that spans painting and mixed-media sculpture, Coppens incorporates found materials to explore the relationships between mass-produced items, like containers, beauty items, or cutlery, and the structural surroundings of a home. “I hope to use my work to initiate a conversation about how we unconsciously curate our living spaces by transforming and reimagining the function of everyday household materials,” she says.

Drawing on a background as a fabricator and picture framer, Coppens considers how objects are collected, stored, presented, or used. While some essentials like utensils, linens, and furniture may travel from place to place, the architecture and character of the rooms themselves are left behind to be occupied and reinterpreted by someone else. In the realm of the domestic, in particular, nostalgic stories develop around specific items and unassuming objects adopt individual narratives.

Coppens has an exhibition coming up this summer at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, which runs June 3 to August 2. Find more on her website and Instagram.

All images © Kailey Coppens

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