Art + Environment Conference: Exploring Artist Kate Clark and Licking the Plate

by Anna Critchley

The Art + Environment Conference at the Nevada Museum of Art has ushered many talented artists, art critics and fans to the Silver State. Lovers of nature and art can see the two converge at this meeting of minds that occurs only once every three years.

Of special note this year is artist Kate Clark with her life-size kudu (a type of antelope native to Africa) that has a sculpted human head. The piece is titled Licking the Plate.

Kate Clark with Licking the Plate/photo by Anna Critchley


“I tried to make a face which is both communicative and emotional,” Clark said. “This makes the piece become less scientific and more about what we are relating to.”

The body of the animal is made out of foam and covered in an authentic hide, discarded by hunters. The head is sculpted in clay and then covered in animal skin which is shaved, stretched and pinned. The small silver dots you see are actually the pins holding the hide to the clay.

A close up of the face./photo by Anna Critchley

Clark sculpts her creations in her Brooklyn, NY studio. She works nine to five, five days a week. With this schedule, it took her six months, a lot of which was on a ladder, to complete Licking the Plate.

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