Caelin Lee is an interdisciplinary biofabrication artist originally from Austin, Texas, now living in the Pacific Northwest.
The physical presence of my work in relation to our bodies inevitably provokes kinesthetic stimulation. Relative space and scale are integral to engagement with the art object through the manipulation of light and form within laminated structures. There is an alchemy to my practice in which research and careful documentation coincide with experimentation and the unknown.
Having set aside figurative work for over a year now, centering on materials and process, I predicted the past few months would bring back this focus and integrate it into these new explorations. Rather, my practice has shifted further into more microscopic examinations of building techniques, textures and forms. These methods, centered around human-made textiles and fibers woven by other organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, mirror the connection between our perceptions and the society which surrounds us. Their tenacious ability to grow and mend complex structures are examples of how nature excels as a mentor for all of humankind.
I apply rhizomatic textiles and biofabrication in the development of my work. Biofabrication can take many directions, however it consistently creates new forms utilizing means such as living cells. In my practice, I incorporate kombucha and algae to create materials resembling more commonly used leathers and plastics. They have predictable behaviors in environments that support their needs. For instance kombucha needs the proper balance of food and temperature to grow. The kombucha grows within cultivated frameworks, creating layers of cellulose film. Centering on multiplicity and transformation, the work applies these mediums to reference the body—communicating individual identity, social constructs and healing.