Biography

Kate is interested in what looking feels like, and making a visual record of that experience. A linguist who speaks seven languages, her work is influenced by writers and thinkers of diverse cultures and historical periods. The spiritual is her main concern. Through re-contextualisation, she shares her love of the everyday, and deifies the ordinary.

Her work explores the places in between, the anonymous shifts and overlaps between East and West, the structured and the casual, the banal and the sublime, the academic and the sensual, high culture and trash, in all of which she is fully and whole-heartedly engaged. Her main influence is Chinese calligraphy and culture, but her love of the late gothic / early renaissance period appears in the formal naivety of her work, particularly in the portraits of trees. She also draws inspiration from popular music, which she sees non-ironically as an expression of many of the truths of our age. Hence the two-year-long-project entitled Pop Music is the Only Truth, in which the pen and ink drawings and secret libraries were composed of a mixture of her written diary and pop lyrics.

Her love of the ordinary, as well as influence from the arte povera movement, led her to work in Chinese ink which she ground herself in the traditional way, on apparently value-less Kraft wrapping paper. She also wrote (in many languages) on birch bark, eggs, melons, sand, water, on rolled up lengths of silk which she sewed into the hems of clothes, on clothes, on room installations, on the walls of her house, on cakes and biscuits, on empty buildings, on growing vegetables in fields, in the shapes of planted bulbs, on those funny lanterns you set aflame and they fly away creating safety hazards, inside discarded birds nests, on immense gravelled driveways, inside the bands of rings, all in intricate and serious patterns. She sewed miniature felt meadows of flowers inside the whole lining of a jacket, to create for the wearer a private landscape.

She enjoys the labour intensive investment of herself in to activity of apparently no value, thereby demonstrating her point that the special is everywhere and that significance is in the eye of the beholder. She likes to celebrate man's insignificance in the universe; something she finds both comical and reassuring.

Kate draws inspiration from Duccio, Duchamp, Van Gogh, Takashi Yasumura, Chinese Scholars’ Rocks, Cornelia Parker, Odilon Redon, Helleu, Hilma af Klint and flotsam and jetsam from the gutter-merchants of the Golborne Road. She is an admirer of the 19th century Viennese art historian and philosopher Alois Riegl and his theories of 'aufmerksaikemt'. This is the pouring of one’s self into what one is looking at, the giving of attention. Riegl believes the viewer bringing his or her whole self and life experience to an object is what gives it its significance. 

By writing her thoughts and feelings on a given object she lays herself and her feelings open, providing the viewer with a sub text as a starting point for their own personal reflection on the piece. 

Kate loves the choreography of rhythmic monotonous tasks such as sewing, walking, embroidering. She considers herself a craftsman and blue-stocking in the tradition of the 18th century botanist Mrs Delaney.

Kate's work has featured in exhibitions at Christies, Bonhams, Haunch of Venison Gallery, Michael Hoppen Gallery, Pearl Lam Gallery, Marie Victoire Poliakoff Gallery (Paris) and the New Art Centre / Roche Court Educational Trust.

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Photo: Tobias Hardy 

Photo: Tobias Hardy