From May to September 2021
Kate is Artist-in-Residence
in the Elan Valley.
The 1892 Water Act allowed Birmingham Corporation to purchase the watershed of rivers Elan and Claerwen. These 70 square miles would provide water to fuel the city’s industrial growth.
The WATERSHED LINE, the perimeter of the land claimed, was, and still is, marked by concrete posts.
Today, 81% of the Elan Estate is an SSSI. Ironically, the economic value of its water has protected it from the use of pesticides and other chemicals, preserving habitats for now rare plants and animals. However, harnessing the natural cycle of these valleys was a feat of Victorian engineering that accelerated industrialisation, contributing to the current global environmental crisis.
Mind Walks 2017 - 2018
A two-year collaboration with Tony Collier who lives with Motor Neurone Disease.
The process of walking has always comforted and reassured me and I don’t think I could live without its constant companionship. You might think that made me an unsuitable candidate to collaborate on a project that addressed the almost complete loss of physical movement – it certainly initiated some vibrant discussions. In my attempts to present Tony’s concept of Mindwalks to an audience I felt it was imperative that the visual material recorded on my walks was presented in a series of layers, not only to reference the traditional composition of paintings (and place Tony’s own paintings within that tradition) but also to place Mindwalks within the context of daily life. Projecting the images on to objects created the immersive experience that Tony aspired to in his paintings, and enjoys on his Mindwalks, and bought the audience closer to the space that I feel on a physical walk. I worked in a different colour palette and tone for each walk, so that all four Mindwalks had a distinct aesthetic.
Lists 2015 – 2018 is an archive of the spaces between the events in the life of a middle-aged woman. A life that is both as ordinary and as extraordinary as the next person. Much that is referenced is quite ridiculous; these are affluent first world lists of abundant food, after school activities and home improvements. However, it is a human universal fear that none of us know what is going to happen tomorrow. Are my lists an attempt to construct the pretence that I have some sort of control over events? And so, as the unimaginable happens, the lists become a record of resilience - of just doing one more thing, one more thing; until another week has passed, another month. Keep going, just keep going – shower and wash hair, blitz the bathroom, put the compost out, trim the dog.