Katie Anderson

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

Tag: Kirkcudbright

Golf Balls, ice moulds and Kader Attia inspiration

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Graphite golf ball prints

I’m not really one for New Year resolutions – but a change in work ethic is definitely the aim for the month. With mounting pressure I am (at last) become more productive. For my TS Eliot project – a desire has grown to develop glass golf balls to form an element of a new installation for an indoor gallery-type exhibition space. Needing to find an exhibition space to have an end of residency exhibition is also growing large in my mind – I want to keep costs down but the aesthetics have to fit, and a commercial space doesn’t feel right for my work currently.s, 

But, I digress a little – back to the golf balls – in the meantime, due to not having ordered that book on glass casting yet (and not knowing what material to make the mould out of, or if my little kiln is up to that sort of thing) I decided ice would be a suitable substitute. 

This has quickly turned into one of those little asides that takes forever – on account of moulding with ice being slightly more complex than my vinyl mould was up to (problems including not holding water, casting in halves that then had no intention of joining e.t.c.) Fortunately a little you-tube research, and a new silicon one piece mould and it actually holds water. Now just to head back to Kirkcudbright and check on the results.

The hassle is all in mind of a small video piece that has stuck in my head. Video is normally a medium I steer will clear of, it’s often boring and un-engaging and lacks the human, tangible, tactile elements that I so desire. A possible side effect influence was my trip to the Liverpool Biennial a couple of months back – and Kader Attia’s Oil and Sugar #2 piece, displayed at the Tate. This has pretty much all of those elements embedded within the work. There was also a couscous piece which I loved (the smell!), as a miniature town made from moulded couscous shapes.

Here are a couple of links for the curious: an interview with the independant, and he has worked on the design team for a rambert dance company production! (I mention this purely because I have Rambert Dance tickets from my birthday – really, very excited.)

Anyways… onwards and upwards!

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I’m currently on the look out for an old phone hand set for casting – any suggestions other than e-bay which I’ve got covered, I’d be open to! Phone boxes have started to catch my attention – Kirkcudbright’s phone box is looking particularly unloved and grubby. There’s a strange sort of nostalgia surrounding these dated […]

Jump starting the studio practice

I may have skipped out a couple of blog posts… first of all the Open Studio’s flattened me a bit – and then the festive season jumped on me from behind and has continuously got in the way ever since. Thankfully, nearly everything is done for that and so I can return to the studio tomorrow (on Christmas Eve!) – with, finally, no distractions. 

The pause in work has been advantageous. A moment to take stock of everything, tidy my thoughts, rearrange them and plan the next steps. The workings of several next projects are being laid out, and my renewed enthusiasm is coming too – with the renewed focus I mentioned previously. I am scouring e-bay for some new objects – an old telephone handset is high on the list. 

During the open weekend I got chatting to someone about the light bulbs and it rekindled an interest in the possible installation of them. Initial tests have begun – and off I trundled up the hill behind Kirkcudbright to install them in the woods; but the need for scale is becoming more apparent.

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I am definitely a scribbley sketcher most of the time, but a birthday present ‘

Drawing Projects: An Exploration of the Language of Drawing’ 

has been really inspiring me to draw properly again – I’ll need to get started as I have decided to write each of my projects out as proposals, with a little more strategic planning to actually get the work done on time. The next deadline is looking like being May bank holiday weekend (25th-27th 2013) but the question of finding an exhibition space to use before August in the KBT vicinity is raising some nerves already. 

In other news – I find myself in the spare time I always make helping out at the Commonty, a regional network for artists and arty types in the D&G area (I naturally advise that you check it out, blogspot or otherwise!), and hopefully into the future at the Stove! Everything is going to plan and 2013 is setting itself out to be an exciting year!  

Open Studio Madness

This week has been a simmering pot of stress. There have been lighting disasters, hanging dilemmas, tidying. Tidying again, Learning how to solder fragile wire frames. Learning not to throw fragile wire frames at the walls when they wouldn’t solder together. Tidying again. Attempting to create an ‘ambient’ studio playlist (think thomas newman, beirut and tracy chapman).

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Fast forward the Open Studios bit – coping with strangers in my secret space, inspiring conersations, making pennies (although it feels slightly like feeding my petrol tank small bronzes.) I feel

reinvigorated

revived

Regained excitement and drive towards following the new direction of my work

changing tack

evaluating.

This is probably the most useful bit – stepping back and looking at what I’ve done in the past four months has highlighted: a) how little work I’ve actually made, and b) what’s wrong with the work I’ve made. 

I have also developed a frustration with the decrepit-ness of red phone boxes scattered through various villages, that stand as relics, crumbling monuments to a time past and forgotten.  

I am full of a new optimism, new pressure, new focus, new drive. Eeek!!

Open Studios event approaching…

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The anxiety is building. And it isn’t a Christmas shopping anxiety – be it the second of December or not. Next Saturday I open my studio door to whoever happens to want to come in. I’m treating this as a marker point in my residency – a deadline, and a midway point. To assess, evaluate and progress (in theory). One of the nicest things about the past  four months has been the sense of freedom. Answering to no one has been liberating and after the close confines of university has allowed me to work without boundaries. Curiously, this release period has pushed my work back in a direction that feels more productive and this feels the right time to pause before changing tack. 

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So, following conversations that have taken me a long time to follow up on – I am finally starting to take objects out into the wider world. Triangulation points got my interest a good while ago but have been on a bit of a back burner for a while now. They are outdoor plinths, ready made, site specific plinths – which is a strange sort of anti-plinth notion. At uni I always took a hostile position to the terrible MDF plinths that can swamp student shows and some gallery spaces. These on the other hand, seem different – sited as they are on various hill tops, permanent features. They should be at odds with with the landscape, these strange concrete structures, but strangely, they are absorbed into the place and their permanence makes them natural structures. 

 

Progress

Another whirlwind of a week. Wednesday and Thursday were spent on my research trip to the Liverpool Biennial (finally!), although it had a different feel to the last time I visited in 2010 – this may be due to myself as much as the event – the venues contrasted against one another strangely from the LJMU Copperas Hill Building, an empty post depot (?) which was somewhat creepy – but I did love the City States Tour, the New Contemporaries much less so – to the Cunard Building. Once the ‘arrival lounge’ for First Class sailing passengers according to their information boards, and containing some of my favourite works.

Back at Home, preparations are under way for the WASPS studios Open Studios Weekend, my first opportunity to discuss my work and a deadline point for all the works in progress – so the pressure is on to get all those pieces in the midway point to a displayable stage. The dates are the 8th and 9th of December, 10am ’til 4pm – I recommend making the trip to Kirkcudbright, and about ten other studios will be open, so it should be a worthwhile endeavour. I even hear there may be mince pies and mulled wine on offer!

My other sparkle of good news is having been accepted for the Spring Fling 2013 event next May. It’s another deadline point – a measuring stage, but on a slightly larger platform. It’s also somewhat nerve-wreaking, as well as being on quite a big scale as art events go, it’s also represents a very wide range of styles and types of art – of which mine sits somewhere slightly separate from much of it  as the conceptual, contemporary basis. However I hope it will be a really useful experience… now to get all those half finished ideas into the next stage.

Creativity on Tap

 

They say that the best way to write a blog is with regular/on time/weekly/daily – whatever – posts, but unfortunately for me,creativity doesn’t come on tap.

My practise is splintered by irregularity – I can be immersed in work for days, or spend a week – more – pottering. Making coffee,reading, wandering, tidying up.

Art for me is not instant. We are not computers; there is no switch to flick, and time – measured, passed, lost, is all a part of making. The appreciation is not often instant either, art is not necessarily meant to be observed, decoded and understood in an instant, moving immediately onto the next.

In that way, Kirkcudbright is just right. Nothing is immediate, and everything takes time. And that’s the way it should be, has to be, before I make anything worth a second glance.

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'Tate Kirkcudbright's Sixth Plinth

In case there was any doubt as to Kirkcudbright’s contemporary art awareness – here stands the Sixth Plinth in homage to Anthony Gormley, for the duration of Kirkcudbright’s Summer Art Season!

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Cannonwalls & Claverhouse WASPS Studios - Kirkcudbright

Home to my studio for the next 12 months!!