Kate Holford is an artist based in South East London. Kate graduated from BA(Hons) Fine Art at Falmouth in 2013 and has since been involved in numerous curatorial projects, including group shows, Now Falmouth (2013) Shoreditch, and Doppelgangers (2015) at The Strand Gallery. Kate’s personal practice, having strong foundations in Drawing, has included video installation, sculpture and writing, and most recently the incorporation of oil painting. Conceptual drives have included the critical approach to culturally inherited narratives, the translation of mediated information, and embodiments of power. Kate has been working as a manager at Stillpoint Spaces London since 2017 and here Kate tells us about her upcoming exhibition and life since graduation:
Cadences/An Affray, or , “The mobs don’t like their gods to be human”, Falmouth Fine Art Degree Show, 2013
On 15th April, I will be exhibiting In the Stories There is an Abundance at Stillpoint Spaces London in Clerkenwell, which will include pop-up installations to mark the opening of a solo exhibition. A new body of work combining drawing, painting, writing, and sculpture, this exhibition will conjure themes of homemaking, reimagined stories of religiosity, the suggestion of journeys taken through ‘carceral’ landscapes, and the ultimate search for ‘Home’. In the Stories… further explores a personal relationship with universal narratives of pilgrimage, the myth of the ‘Promised Land’, and the archetype of the Western frontier, ideas which first became clear preoccupations for me when creating my Fine Art degree show at Falmouth School of Art in 2013.
Recent paintings, soon to be exhibited as part of In the Stories…
Since graduating I have put on shows a few times, always as both artist and curator, and in many cases continuing to work on projects with fellow Falmouth alumni. As is natural in group endeavours, for each show we developed specific themes or currents between our work to pull the exhibitions together. For one, a large 45-artist strong show in Shoreditch called Now Falmouth, we operated on the premise that our collective would be giving London a snapshot of newly graduated artists from outside the capital – a “showcase”, not unlike the annual selected shows ran by the art school, but on a much larger scale. Another exhibition, co-curated with fellow alumni Julia White, focused on the output of artists living double lives in the city: the life of the “artist” and the life of the “young professional”. By starting with this binary outlook, we attempted to build a show that in fact challenged the assumed limitations of that paradox. I contributed to both of these shows by building installations as well as playing a central role in their organization. This upcoming exhibition In the Stories… then, is the first time I will be showing work as a solo artist (although I haven’t quite shrugged off the responsibilities of curating the show), and the first time I will be occupying a considerably-sized – if unconventional – exhibition space on my own.
Stillpoint Spaces – recent exhibition opening (Surasti Puri’s Ordinary Joys)
I started working as the Manager for Stillpoint Spaces London almost exactly a year ago, having left my previous job as a Bookshop Manager for Waterstones. I had, in the recess between employment, rediscovered a neglected arts practice, and for the first time took up oil paints as a way back into making work. I walked into Stillpoint then, this time last year, as an artist.
Stillpoint Spaces was created with the intention of exploring psychology in all aspects of culture, where we are building a community of psychotherapists, practitioners – artists – psychologists – activists – anyone interested in applying psychology to the everyday (and if art isn’t that, what is it?!), through events, coworking, and an onsite community of psychotherapists. Since I became involved with them I have been developing the inclusion of artists and the creative practices in that discourse; it has since become a key element in the way we develop our events programme. To play such a part in that process by having my own work included is a privilege.
It is also exciting that we will be marking this with a talk and reading from poet and professor Andrea Brady of Queen Mary University, titled Close Up is Far Away. Andrea will read from her poem The Blue Split Compartments, an extended work which incorporates found text from military manuals and the chatroom banter of drone pilots, along with myth, personal history, and writings on sculpture and psychoanalysis. She will also speak about the proliferation of artworks which have been inspired by drone surveillance.
Part of the exhibited installation Vanitas at The Strand Gallery, London 2015
If anyone would like to find out more about the exhibition on 15th April, the accompanying event, or the exhibition space itself, they can visit the website page here: http://www.stillpoint-lab-london.com/event/openhouse/ and follow the links. Mostly though, I am always looking to make contact with artists who are interested in psychology – be it political, anthropological, or personal – and who think their work would be appropriate for Stillpoint’s programme. Do get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to pitch a project or start a conversation!
Simulacra/An Escape, or, “Leaving it all, like something dropped in the corner by the wind”, ‘Now Falmouth’ group show, Shoreditch Town Hall, 2013