From Lewis to Harris

Travelling south now, little by little. In Tarbert I saw sumptuous rolls of gorgeous Harris Tweed fabrics, pinks, violets, gold green moor-redolent hues.

WP_20160822_006 (1)

 

I’ve been drawing every day, sitting and tuning into the spirit of place. A particular favourite was Ardroil Sands at Uig. It’s the place where the Lewis Chessmen were found – apparently by a cow hooking her horn around the handle of the casket. The enormous beaches were formed from the countless shell fragments of millions of shell-covered creatures who lived just outside the bay for centuries. I’ve enjoyed walking through ankle deep tide risings and experiencing the sea all around me, feeling her power and relentless nature. I’ve gathered handfuls of sea water for my drawings; I’ve scrabbled through peat bogs and dug my hands into their soft blackness, taking little handfuls to draw with.

It has been lovely to watch the eagle with two young rising on thermals at the foot of the nearby mountain, and to listen to the peeping sound of the sandpipers feeding at the tide-line.
I’ve lain in bed listening to the wing beats of ravens. When there is no one around they fly much lower and the pumping sound of air being pressed down was mesmerizing. I’ve spent time watching one raven who croaked incessantly, and always flew with beak open.
I’m very grateful indeed to a-n Artists Information Co. for supporting me so generously on this wonderful exploratory trip. I’ll be writing a full blog on the whole journey soon.

WP_20160821_012 WP_20160821_021

 

At Aird Uig, near ex-MOD base. Wild, naked, raw, pure, powerful. Place of eagle feasts and peat.

WP_20160820_047 WP_20160820_039

 

At Calanais Standing Stones. Spectacular, powerful.

WP_20160820_017

I swam beside this beautiful bell by Marcus Vergette (one of a series) which rings at each high tide, sending song along the valley, up the hill to the cemetery. It was a perfect day. Warm, and the sea like crystal. It took my breath away but I was so glad I immersed myself. I felt so different afterwards.

WP_20160821_038

Stromness – a brief post – more when I’ve Wifi again!

I am looking out of the window at the south shore of Loch Broom, where the water runs down to Ullapool. I’ll be getting the ferry soon to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.
A week ago on the drive here my heart soared as mountains rose from the horizon. Purple flanks, pink breathing masses of ancient rock.
Clouds as spirit whales over shark black sea; Orca pods skim the harbour waters in beautiful Stromness.
I saw a correspondence between the breasts of birds and the waters which swelled and carried them when they left their posts on the harbour breakwater at Helmsdale.
With reference to my work I’ve been thinking about what Barthes calls the ‘punctum’…a “detail that pierces the viewer and opens up the image, defying the closure any labelling implies” (Bronfen, The Knotted Subject).

I loved seeing the works of Barbara Hepworth at the Pier Arts Centre:  the fineness of her elegant figures which suggested being in landscape held the heart of the experience of standing against the wind and amazed before the Stones of the Ring of Brodgar.

Crawling into the hilly wombs of earth finding tiny bird wall piercings, so many ears to hear you in there. Runes like drawings made by earth herself, catching noble profiles growing upon their rocky forebears.

It was great meeting Neil Firth, the Director, and Carol Dunbar again. It was fascinating to hear about the Orcadian people, their openness, their open-mindedness, their expansiveness; they are an exploring people, their influence wide, clear.

For pictures please see my Instagram account – katewaltersartist – until I have time and WiFi to upload them here!

 

a-n travel bursary beginning…..

Travelling across the fine and large county of Sutherland today was such a joy, and I found myself feeling very grateful to a-n for their funding – making this adventure possible.

WP_20160810_004 WP_20160810_020

I enjoyed meeting the curator at Timespan in Helmsdale, and I had a great time staying with Ann MacDonald beside the harbour, near to where the washing filled pinkly with breeze, and the cormorants dried their wings.

A heron flew over my head as I stood watching the birds leave their drying posts. It found another heron and together they performed acrobatics over the harbour.WP_20160809_061

 

More on my blog for a-n which I will be writing soon!

And some photos on Instagram and Twitter when I can find Wi-Fi….

The Other Art Fair, Bristol, July 22 -24th, link to events

Here is the link to the events page of the Other Art Fair

http://bristol.theotherartfair.com/visiting/2016-fair-programme

I’ll be doing two sessions of my ‘hollow bone’ performance drawing at noon on the 23rd and 24th July.

I’ll also be showing a range of unframed work in a small installation and a series of related framed works, many of which had their genesis on the Isle of Iona, where I was recently artist in residence.

I’m hoping to meet people who will be interested in my work; I’ll be happy to speak about the themes which flourish in it.

Bird making womb for my consciousness Drawing Kate Walters book page 2016 oil on gesso-prepared paper small file   Meeting you O my fluttering heart  oil and ink on paper 2016 Kate Walters book page with gesso

 

 

Other news:

I’ve been invited to Barcelona to be part of Femtourtruck to do my performance drawing… thinking about it…

Research trip to Dolomites, Bolzano and Bressanone

Just back from a wonderful trip to the Dolomites; and exploring early XIV century frescoes.

WP_20160615_003  The cloisters at Bressanone Duomo.

Walking into the mountains on a fine afternoon after a great visit to Johannes Church in Bolzano – the pearl of Bolzano.

WP_20160611_048

 

WP_20160609_006 WP_20160611_013 InstagramCapture_eca07156-d967-4ebd-8673-60aad44f4a1b

 

I met the  caretaker, a very passionate teacher, who told me all about the frescoes, all the stories and legends. There was St. Oswald from Lindesfarne, the healer, and the spring beneath the spot where the preacher would speak. Apparently in days of old the clever builders knew where springs were, and they positioned the altars so that a Spring would inspire and vivify the words of those who spoke. (It does also mean that many old chapels are damp).

According to the town booklet Santa Maddelena Church would be open on Friday afternoons… so a long walk on a beautiful hot afternoon led us there (after a visit to Sarentino and San Cipriano Church). Santa Maddelena was locked. I went to the house of the caretaker, and spoke to a frail old lady at length in my broken Italian but she was  a German speaker. She refused to give me the key. I waited and hoped she would relent. I peered through the large windows, and then another person arrived- a German speaker – who went and found the woman’s daughter, who was the caretaker, and after some discussion got us the key. It was such a wonderful moment to enter that beautiful little church. The frescoes were so tender and beautiful and in good repair. I spent around an hour there making drawings and taking photos.

WP_20160610_012 WP_20160610_013

The following afternoon we set off for the mountains. The weather promised to be interesting, with mists, rain showers  and possibly storms. The tops of the mountains swirled with water vapour. The first part of the walk up was good, sunny, bright, beside a rushing mountain river. Wild flowers decorated the pathways; clematis climbed the spindly trees. As we walked higher the weather closed in. We passed enormous wood ants nests, over two feet high and several feet in breadth; the ants had closed their doors and gone indoors. The path became more rocky, precipitous, and the views became obscured by light rain. Blue sky had gone. We were climbing all the time, legs grew tired, felt like jelly. Brief respites came when we encountered two meadows and their lovely occupants, the native blonde Haflinger ponies.

WP_20160611_018    WP_20160613_051  WP_20160611_068 WP_20160611_032      WP_20160612_023     WP_20160611_040 WP_20160612_004     WP_20160612_001    WP_20160612_029

 

Eventually, after hearing thunder and worrying about the failing light, we saw a solitary building perched amongst the peaks. No road there; only narrow tracks. At first no sign of life, then through the dusk we saw a faint light and smelt faint whiffs of smoke – reassuring in this context. We arrived completely soaked to the skin, and were shown our little room, all clothed in wood. The stove in the dining room was huge and hot. We hung all our wet clothes around it and settled in for a meal of goulash and apple cake – most welcome! Our clothes dried overnight. I was disturbed in the night by severe cramp – my legs were very sore indeed. The next morning we walked up through snow and along via ferrata to the corrie – where several valleys met. It was all rock- whites, skins watery, hard, silent, no sign of life; as if there had been  some kind of planetary destruction – or as if the world was just beginning. These are young mountains, and subject to change; the river beds move, the mountains shed their skin.

WP_20160612_012     WP_20160612_016

 

 

 

The Other Art Fair, July 22-24, Bristol

My work has been selected for The Other Art Fair, which is curated. It will be held at the Arnolfini, Bristol, July 22-24. I’m looking forward to showing my work to a new audience.

Here are some examples of recent works, in oil, monotype, ink and watercolour: These will probably be at the show.

Meeting you O my fluttering heart  oil and ink on paper 2016 Kate Walters book page with gesso     singing the babies over the stream Kate Walters 2016 monotype with drawing Smiles with Pelican monotype with oil 2016 Kate Walters book page    Violet Gathering watercolour 2016 Kate Walters Bird making womb for my consciousness Drawing Kate Walters book page 2016 oil on gesso-prepared paper small file      with ears that pray, my horse of the four winds small file

 

 

Open Studios

My studio will be open on May 28 – 30th and June 3- 5, daily from 11-4….or by appointment (k.walters@outlook.com; 07816 098807).

(June 4 after 2pm  I won’t be in my studio, someone else will be there; if you really want to see me and talk about my work, please don’t come then!).

Address is Studio 6, Trewarveneth Studios, Trewarveneth St, Newlyn, TR18 5JQ

I have selected drawings, monotypes and some watercolours and paintings to show you. Relaxed friendly atmosphere; and many lovely books, workbooks, music to share too.

A few vegetable seedlings will be available, and tea and possibly cake.

I’ll be happy to speak about what energises my work; my inspirations and my joy.

My dog Keeps watch as I Pray watercolour 2016 30 x 37 cm

Poem about me and my work, by Rupert Loydell, May 2016

TAKING FLIGHT

for Kate



You still have that energy I have lost,

do not possess now any more.

You'll commandeer an exhibition space

and spend the weekend talking

to strangers and an audience

you've summoned through the internet,

by word-of mouth, friends of friends

or those who might be interested.



You follow your own inner path,

the line of your eye, the map

I have lost. It gets you nowhere,

gets you noticed, gets me every time.

Your life is pinned to the wall,

a work in progress. Birds peck into

your head and heart, then take flight

above this dirty Cornish town.



© Rupert M Loydell

 

 

 

 

 

Trans-States & Books of Blood…proposal success!

Yesterday I heard from the University of Northampton who will be hosting a conference called Trans-States in September. The conference is about exploring ways the Arts can help us to explore different areas of consciousness. My proposal to give a talk/performance about my work has been accepted…I am delighted! I will be talking about my ‘hollow bone process’.

Further good news: I recently heard from The University of Hertfordshire which will be curating and organising a project called BOOKS OF BLOOD: A CROSS-DISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATION INTO BLOOD AS REPRESENTATION, SYMBOL, AND TEXT IN MODERN CULTURE
All humans ‘are books of blood—wherever you open us, we’re red’ (Clive Barker). If our bodies are books of blood, then they can be read…

….. My proposal has been accepted for this project too, and I will be showing work and contributing to events and a publication. I am so thrilled! It is hoped that the project will travel from Ireland to London.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Water colour works about blood as life, about being in touch with the instinctual voices of our cells, about bodily knowing.