Kayla Sweet-Newhouse

“My work is a balance between careful attention and haphazard chance. It’s difficult to put words to the process, I think it’s about 60% my idea and 40% how the materials react to my ideas.

Making sculptures for me is a full-body effort, it takes strength and stamina. I always end up on the floor or standing on the table. I have to be on the same level as the sculpture so that I can experience it from all angles, I stand above it, walk around it, lay down next to it, my hands work on every angle and curve, and then after I am satisfied… the fire has its say, breathing life and unpredictability into the work before it freezes the sculpture in its permanent form”

About Kayla

Kayla Sweet-Newhouse is a self-taught artist who has nurtured her talent in universities, museums, and artist studios around the globe. Born in 1992 in New York City, Sweet-Newhouse currently lives and works in Venice, California. The work expresses deep curiosity and respect for the living world. Much like the evolutionary process of natural selection, the artist’s intuitive working method invites a non-symmetrical balance of imperfection and individualism. Each sculpture is unique and survives in its own way. Each embodies a vitality, joy, fragility, defiant spirit, and the determination necessary to survive.

“We are each an energy system striving towards the maximum impact with the minimum effort. I have become fascinated with the patterns that I notice around me in my daily life. I began to see that tree bark resembles cracks in pavement, stretch marks on our skin, and the stripes of a tiger. I became increasingly fascinated when I realized that both organic and inorganic specimens exhibit similar patterns. This has helped me to understand why my sculptures look simultaneously like lichen and underwater creatures. The way river beds and trees have the same outward branching structure, the similar engineering of a fruit fly and a 747, the way my hands knead clay… everything is evolving towards the goal of minimum energy maximum impact… as we battle the same environmental phenomenon, we create convergent patterns.”

–Kayla Sweet-Newhouse


On display at Helms Design Center for one week beginning 8.28.20

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All artwork is copyrighted work of the artist. All rights reserved. Images not to be used without permission.