“I think all artists are witnesses. And sometimes you have to be a responsible witness”.
Tania Kovats joins us in Falmouth on Wednesday 2 November. Her work explores our experience and understanding of landscape. Since receiving the Barclays Young Artist Award at London’s Serpentine Gallery in 1991, Kovats has become known for her sculptures, large-scale installations, temporal works and drawings.
Evaporation, Tania Kovats, solo exhibition, installation view, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester (2015)
Rain II, 2015, ink on blotting paper, framed, 59.7 x 54.3 cm, 23.5 x 21.4 in
Kovats’ interest in drawing is reflected in works including British Isles and All the Islands of All the Oceans. She is also author of The Drawing Book – a Survey of drawing: the primary means of expression (2007), and Course Director for MA Drawing at Wimbledon College of Art, London.
Perhaps best known for her large-scale works in the public realm, Kovats produced Tree (2009), a wafer thin longitudinal section of the entire structure of a 200-hundred-year old oak, permanently inserted into the ceiling of the Natural History Museum. For Rivers (2012), installed in the landscape of Jupiter Artland outside Edinburgh, Kovats collected water from one hundred rivers around the British Isles, housing the collection in a specially constructed boathouse. A major solo exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Oceans (2014), explored her preoccupation with the sea.
Kovats’ practice has seen her undertake residencies in the Galapagos Islands and the Astronomy Department at the University of Cambridge, travel to the Arctic as part of the Nowhereisland project and to points on the globe where seas meet, from New Zealand to northern Denmark, for her work Where Seas Meet. Tree (2009) resulted from six months exploring South America with her husband and son.
All the Sea (detail) 2014, Tania Kovats, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh
This year, her exhibition Evaporation (2016) at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester again focused on water. The exhibition was commissioned by Cape Farewell, the organisation which provides a cultural response to the issue of climate change. Evaporation also included All The Sea, previously shown at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; 365 bottles of water from the world’s seas, collected by Kovats in large part through an invitation to the public to help her to bring all the seas together in one place.
Tania Kovats will give a talk on her work and practice at Falmouth School of Art, 2 November 2016 at 5pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Falmouth Campus. Booking required, click here to register.
After completing her MA at the Royal College of Art in 1990, Tania Kovats (b.1966) won the Barclays Young Artist Award at the Serpentine Gallery in 1991. She has been the recipient of many awards such as the Henry Moore Drawing Fellowship (2004-5), Visiting Fellow at the School of Archaeology, Oxford University (2006) and the Cape Farewell Lovelock Art Commission (2015). She has been nominated for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery: 6th Edition (2015-17) and completed a residency in the Astronomy Department at the University of Cambridge. Kovats has shown extensively in the UK and abroad, with solo shows including those at Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield; Peer Arts, London, Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall and the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections including the Arts Council, The British Council, Government Art Collection and the V&A. She is represented by the Pippy Houldsworth Gallery.
AnOther interview with Tania Kovats, December 2015