Katie Anderson

Artist based in South West Scotland; interested in people, places, materials and collaborative practice.

Tag: art exhibition

Art in Public [Space]

The label public art brings out a wide range of responses from people. Large scale commemorative bronze statues of colonial figures come to mind for many, gentrification and urban development art-washing, permanence, concrete elephants, community murals and ideas set in stone. It’s still deeply unfashionable within the art community, having met lots of people who give surprised looks at any genuine interest in the subject.

There is enough cause for much of this – there is plenty of ill-conceived art dotted about the place, without care and attention this is an area that can grow anything from apathy to division, alienating people from their environments.

But enough of the negativity – public art also has the ability to allow people to impact on their surroundings, have a say in how space is used, take back control and question for who and what are public spaces designed?

I began a series of open ended conversations, with a variety of interesting people working across art in public space in a variety of ways. Common topics started to emerge: environmental art, land art, art and healthcare, climate change, playful approaches to public art, residencies, outsider art, community art, David Harding and the Glasgow School of Art’s Environmental Art course, the Artist Placement Group, the Scottish Town Artists, architecture, education, contemporary land issues, collaboration, instagram and permission.

Conversations were held in artists studios, out in the landscape, in busy coffee shops and quiet offices. Although some similarities appeared, each conversation was unique, reflecting the broad approach of artists, architects and designers to the subject. Permanence falters, but isn’t lost. The identity of the artist blurs, but doesn’t entirely vanish. The support networks to make new work happen continue to change and adapt with the current climates.

As the project developed, we continued to add more voices, in the form of open platform discussions, and an artists booth on the High Street asking Who is it For? Who Decides?

Hopefully, this is just the beginning. You can hear some of the recorded conversations online, Part One here and Part Two here. You can download our map or permanent art works in Dumfries here. And read more about the project here.

Special thank you to everyone who participated and joined in the conversation, and to all the artists who were willing to be recorded for the project. All image credits to Kirstin McEwan.

Land Form Plastic

Every artists action leaves behind it a material trace.

New work that I have been developing is being exhibited as part of an upcoming show at the newly refurbished Kirkcudbright Galleries.

The group show, Energise, curated by Upland opens 13th October and runs for a month until 9th December.

Full details available here

SURGE, and they just don’t make them like they used to


Great to see this work finally up in the Patriothall Gallery in Edinburgh at the beginning of the month, after it’s been sitting about in my studio/in my brain for quite a while. Patriothall is a great exhibition space, very well hidden down an alley way in Stockbridge – the poshest place in Edinburgh, surely. SURGE, a group exhibition curated and organised by Upland, featured a really nice mixture of familiar and new works by 12 artists from across Dumfries and Galloway, and made a nice collection in the space. This has been my first exhibition in the central belt (!), but persuading new audiences into a space like this turns out to be trickier than it might have been. However, great to get the work out, framed and onto the wall somewhere, and spot the red dot tucked away underneath one!


It’s always the favourites that go, and so it is this time too, but so glad it has gone to a good home (big thank you to Clare for the support!).


My first experience also with a professional framer, and have to say how beautifully framed these look with thanks to Sam Cartman for sorting me out last minute and getting them finished perfectly.


Also, thanks to Upland for all the organising and for selecting the work-in-progress. It’s interesting to continue to look, playfully at the art gallery situation as a potential site or location for artworks, even if I often feel a bit puzzled as to their purpose once there. Potentially as a stepping stone towards the more personal, domestic environment gives the artwork a lifespan and new location to relate to.

‘they just don’t make them like they used to’ arrived after a long period of learning how to lift floors during my studio renovations last year. The length of the nails, coupled with the beautiful, heavy floor boards made the task arduous and lengthy, as the floorboards were lifted, possibly for the first time in their 170 year life; and this sparked an importance of keeping traces of this lifting, moving and replacing, of acknowledging the makers and tradespeople who came before.


Also, on the way back to the car, we spotted this excellent ghost sign, with layers of businesses and lettering on show. Super nice.

I’m on the hunt for gallery spaces for next year in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Newcastle or somewhere else out with D&G, that might be interested in a proposal for an exhibition featuring sculptures, film and photographs (possibly audio) as an installation exploring landscape and the documentation of one of my site specific pieces. If you’ve got any suggestions of places that might be interested or that I could approach, please give me a shout.


Excited to have new work showing in Edinburgh as part of Upland’s SURGE exhibition at the Patriothall Gallery next month. The exhibition launch evening is free and open to everyone, if you are about in Edinburgh town please come and see some new work from a selection of excellent D&G based artists.

Main graphic

Invite final-2



It’s a happening thing – any Sydney art types make sure you check out upcoming exhibition Transmute, curated by Celine Roberts and Amy Gardner at 107 Projects.

Opening night is on the 11th of May from 6.30pm, and the exhibition will run until the 23rd of May. For full details visit 107 Projects website here

salt of the earth

solway silt NY 13927 65142

annan river clay NY19182 70375

bentonite, imported

salt, irish sea NX 96140 11827

salt, solway firth NY 15278 65640

salt, north sea NT 68128 79048


DSC_0747_lowres DSC_0741_croplowres

salt of the earth

Location #3 CALDEWGATE, Newcastle Street, Carlisle.

And so concludes part three of an extended foray into exhibition/gallery art in 2015. Salt of the Earth first appeared in public at Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries as part of Spring Fling’s YAB exhibition in March. In April, it reappeared in a new form at Kulturschopfer’s Green Hill Gallery, Berlin alongside Spring Fling’s Making.Art exhibition. Finally, it crossed the Solway, the starting point of the work for CALDEWGATE.

With each showing, works were added, removed, altered, fiddled with, reconsidered, redrawn and ditched. From challenging contextual spaces, to uncertain install details – salt of the earth has been an interesting experiment, which has included, light-touch performance, interactive works, film work, text based wall work, soundscapes and the original sculptural objects. All grown from a fascination with environment.


How successful was it? Partially. Difficulties include: gallery context, ‘tangible’ engagement with passive gallery audiences, wiring install issues, sound quality, technical finish…

The ever perfection-driven artist ego struggles with gallery context. Even a desire for flawed-precision, humanised-perfection, can feel deflated and lack-lustre when confronted with a gallery context.

How does the audience arrive? With expectation? Can gallery audiences be more than passive viewers of a singular viewpoint? These experiences are far more personal, affected by the quietness and isolated nature of gallery spaces, temporary or otherwise. The CALDEWGATE space, so emotive for many visitors (and especially for the artists) still with a faint and dying scent of printmaking materials drew very distinctive frames around the work on view.


As usual, the learning curve continues. What next? A period of reflection, and some new making. Through making, and then through sharing these works have become part of myself and huge thank yous must go out to all those who helped make salt of the earth happen. They are:

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s VAACMA Award Scheme

Spring Fling


Gracefield Arts Centre team and staff

Genevieve Kay Gourlay and her unstoppable CALDEWGATE team

art school = art soul

It should be added, art colleges are a VALUABLE part of creating our cultural futures. Educational funding may not be what it was in some previous golden era, but measuring the value of your art college using a tape measure to student ratio is wasteful. Technical spaces are a dying breed, as ever increasing student numbers are sold a dream and packaged as sardines on a montetary fueled journey into the unknown. Art schools are magical places, and will grow our future creative and cultural worlds – they are the eye openers, precious spaces and world changers. Take heed art colleges, you are the guardians, the care-takers, the visionaries and future makers. But only if the art schools survive.

(rant over)

Spring Fling Young Artists Exhibition

Excited to announce that this year I have been supported by Spring Fling through their Young Artist Bursary programme, have a look at my Spring Fling profile online here. The Open Studios event might not be till May, which you could be mistaken for thinking is ages away, but is probably countable in weeks… I have been paired up with mentor Isabell Buenz for the next few months which is already proving an exciting learning experience, but more on that to come!

In the meantime, Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries is showcasing the work of some of this and previous year’s supported Young Artists, and runs from the 28th of February to the 4th of April in Gallery 1. To get the first glimpse of the exhibition, make sure and come to the opening from 2 – 4pm on Saturday the 28th February.1116-14 Gracefield Invite Card Spring Fling Young Artists WEB-1

1116-14 2 Gracefield Invite Card Spring Fling Young Artists WEB-2

Summer Show – A little insight



Sneak peak of some of the work in the Town Hall summer exhibition. The electric cups (as I have decided they must be called) are taken from an object lent to me by a Kirkcudbright local following on from my mad gibbering about object collections. There is something lovely about them and their nice shape – finding a whole one has gone on my art-object-finds want list!!

Cannonwalls 2013 – (the tiled floor cast) has been sitting about undetected for a while, I quite like it. And am becoming a bit of a tile pattern freak now I’ve started to notice everyones lovely tiled hallways a bit more (our own included). Latex. Not like I’m copying the lovely Mairi Singleton  and her mad latex obsession, but it does turn out to have it’s uses now I’ve spent the past six months tripping over the tub of it.


The lightbulbs have moved indoors (temporarily). And the greenery has attempted (so far completely unsuccessfully) to move indoors as well. (Show’s been open 7 days and so far one dead tree, potentially one half dead tree). However it’s adding a nice bit of green inbetween the dying stages. I’d had a thought that if it died it could ‘add’ something beautiful until I realised that trees don’t just go from beautiful and green to elegant and bare branched, but rather flail about in a droopy, neglected manner for long periods in the middle which is neither attractive nor conceptually helpful. Sigh.

The show is open 10 til 5 every day, no excuses folks – and I’ll be in one day a week to answer all your questions. I’m far less likely to fall asleep with a bit of gentle persuasion. 


RISE poster

RISE - Coming Soon!

Look out! RISE is opening at the Galley on Nelson Street, Carlisle next Thursday and runs for a week. With any luck I will be showing some new work…. cancel your plans and get on down to that funny little city across the border!