Here are two of my works from my recent exhibition at Arusha Gallery in Edinburgh – my first there in five years.
I was very pleased with how the exhibition looked; there was a great crowd at the opening on February 28th; and many people bought copies of my new book, Shetland Notebooks & Sketchbooks, published by Guillemot Press.
The next book launch will be at Tremenheere Gallery just outside Penzance, on April 13th, at 3 pm, when my publisher Luke Thompson and I will talk about the book, and then at 3.30 we will lead a workshop on walking and writing (£15 per person). This event is part of the next Newlyn Society of Artists exhibition, entitled Ex Libris, which has it’s Opening Event on April 6th at 2pm (until 6pm).
this is one of the works in the exhibition in New York…
And in York, U.K., at the New Schoolhouse Gallery, from now until the end of January:
NOW SHOWING: KATE WALTERS THE START THAT FALLS FROM HEAVEN
Penzance-based artist Kate Walters’ The Start that Falls from Heaven is an extraordinary, deeply moving exhibition of works in oil and watercolour that were predominantly completed on the isles of Shetland and Iona. The exhibition overflows with motifs of the feminine, the mythical and the natural world and asks: What does it mean to be human, knowing, and living in the anthropocene age?
Here are some images:
I was very happy to be part of Ghost Tide, an exhibition curated by Monika Bobinska and Sarah Sparkes, at Thames Side Studios in London recently. I spent an afternoon offering ‘hollow bone’ sessions (funded by Arts Council England); the pictures show me doing this work with visitors to the exhbition. This work was done in a ceremonial way, with drumming, trance, and song.
The Ghost TideCurated by Monika Bobinska and Sarah Sparkes at Thames-Side StudiosSupported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.The Ghost Tide – coinciding with the festivals of Hallowe’en, All Souls and the Day of the Dead – takes as its starting point the perspective that ghosts exist as an idea, or as part of belief system, across cultures, across national borders and throughout recorded history.Most languages contain words to describe the ghost, spirit or immaterial part of a deceased person. Often, these words – like the type of ghost they describe – have traversed borders been assimilated across cultures.
The exhibition, situated next to the Thames Barrier in south-east London, evokes ghosts as a migratory tide of ghosts washed up along the shore of the Thames, their historical baggage in tow.
It also evokes the presence of artists in this part of London, as a migratory tide of creative flotsam and jetsam which ebbs and flows as the city gentrifies and develops.
Featured works include sculpture, installation, film, sound, performance and wall based works.
The exhibition will include installations and outdoor interventions, as well as public events and Sarah Sparkes’ GHost Research Library ghost library.
About the curatorsSarah Sparkes is an artist and curator. Her work, The GHost Formula, 2016, commissioned by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) recently toured to NTMoFA (National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts) as part of the exhibition No Such Thing As Gravity, curated by Rob LaFrenais.She was the 2015 recipient of the MERU ART*SCIENCE Award. Together with Ian Thompson, she was awarded a BEYOND artist residency at Allenheads Contemporary Arts, 2018. Her work is shown by New Art Projects London.Sparkes leads the visual arts and creative research project GHost, curating an on-going programme of exhibitions, performances and inter-disciplinary seminars interrogating the idea of the ghost.
GHost events have been supported by Folkestone Triennale, University of the Arts, University of London, FACT, NTMoFA and Arts Council of England. She has lectured and written widely on both ghosts and GHost.
Monika Bobinska is the director of CANAL, which organizes exhibitions and art projects in a variety of settings, and runs the North Devon Artist Residency www.northdevonartres.org
Artists include Andrea G Artz, Chris Boyd, Davies Monaghan & Klein, Diane Eagles,Gen Doy, Sarah Doyle, Graham Dunning, Andrew Ekins, Charlie Fox, Katie Goodwin, Kio Griffith, Miyuki Kasahara, Calum F Kerr, Rob La Frenais, Liane Lang, David Leapman, Toby MacLennan, Laura Marker, Joanna McCormick, Josie McCoy, Jane Millar, Output Arts, Miroslav Pomichal, Quay Brothers, Anne Robinson, Edwin Rostron, Matt Rowe, Sarah Sparkes, Charlotte Squire, Sara Trillo, Kate Walters, Patrick White, Heidi Wigmore, Mary Yacoob, Yun Ting Tsai, Neda Zarfsaz.PV: Fri 19 October 6-8.30pm with performance by Gen Doy
CURATORS’ TALK: Sat 20 October 3-4pm
HOLLOW BONE ceremony with Kate Walters: Sat 27 October 3-6pm
DAY OF THE DEAD CLOSING PARTY: Sat 3 November 2-7.30pm
Papel Picado workshop 2-5pm
Make your own Day of the Dead cutouts with artist Sarah Doyle. Suitable for all ages, materials provided
Performances & artist led walk 2-5pm
Charlie Fox, Calum F Kerr, Joanna McCormick, in and around the gallery
Day of the Dead Feast 5-6pm
Refreshments will be served
International Film Screening 6pm
Haunting short films in the gallery by Chris Boyd, Liane Lang, Quay Brothers, Yun Ting Tsai, Neda ZarfsazThames-Side StudiosThames-Side Studios Gallery
Harrington Way, Warspite Road
London SE18 5NR
Open Thur-Sun 12-5pm and by appointment
It is a very beautiful holy Island with a great deal of history and natural beauty. It is a ‘thin’ place where your dreams and vision are likely to be enhanced.
The price is £550 per participant, which will include teaching/workshop work from 10 am – 3/4pm daily, with a short break for resting/individual work in the late afternoon or after lunch, then evening work after dinner from around 7.30 – 9.30pm. We can arrive anytime after 2 pm on Monday October 7th (gathering for tea and introductions at 4pm), and stay there until the morning of Friday 11th October (leaving by 11am).
The workshop will focus on beauty and will include drawing, writing, painting, walking, dreaming, shamanic journeying (for those who would like it) with drumming and guidance, night/evening walks, elemental work, laughter, and time for solitude. The Island is not large or hilly so the walking is not too demanding or ever very far (although it is around 1 km+ from the jetty to the hostel on a single track level road).
This time we will bring our own food or buy from the Island shop, and either cook for ourselves or share meals/food preparation – keeping it simple.
Staples such as rice and pasta are often left by previous travellers, but we can’t rely on that….
Travel to Iona is quite easy. Train or coach to Glasgow then train to Oban, ferry to Mull, bus to Fionnphort, then ferry to Iona, then walk….
By car you drive to Fionnphort (by ferry from Oban first) then park in the free car park which is 5 mins walk away from the ferry to Iona.
Combining this workshop with a little tour of Mull or Skye would make a very good trip…both islands have very varied landscapes and are very beautiful.
If you would like to book a place on this workshop please email me your confirmation, and I’ll give you payment details – firstname.lastname@example.org
Deposits will be refundable up to 6 months before the workshop, i.e. the end of March 2019. After that it might be hard for me to fill places as most people like to plan well ahead.
Also please give me your permission to share your email addresses and mobile numbers with other people who have registered for the course.
There are 4 places left on this workshop…friends are welcome to come together!
For the British artist Kate Walters painting is a shamanic experience that emerges from deep from the collective feminine unconscious. Like a shaman, she plumbs the depths of the psyche to tap into the source of the most archaic human imagery so as to render it anew for the contemporary world. If Walters lists the artists Joseph Beuys and Bracha Ettinger, alongside the Jungian psychologist Marie-Louise von Franz as her influences, it is because her paintings continue in their steps and add to their legacy.
Walters is particularly interested in the recovery of the sacred feminine principle. She believes that the masculine warrior culture has coopted femininity, disrupting natural balance. Her delicate yet powerful watercolors work to restore this balance. To this end, paintings like Mother on Tree with Bird and Deep Space with Infant refer to organic shapes, the female body in its connection to nature, fertility, cyclical time, and life and death processes. In the words of Dr. Richard Davey, Walters’ paintings are “vehicles through which we are pulled into formlessness,” “encounters with the ephemeral,” and depicting the body as “free of physical constraints, floating in interconnected communion with the universe.”
EXHIBITION DATES 20 October – 3 November
GALLERY OPENING HOURS Thurs-Sun 12pm – 5pm
OPENING PARTY Friday 19 October 6pm – 8.30pm
Gen Doy performance 7.30pm
The Ghost Tide – coinciding with the festivals of Hallowe’en, All Souls and the Day of the Dead – takes as its starting point the perspective that ghosts exist as an idea, or as part of a belief system, across cultures, across national borders and throughout recorded history. Most languages contain words to describe the ghost, spirit or immaterial part of a deceased person. Often, these words – like the type of ghost they describe – have traversed borders and been assimilated across cultures.
The exhibition, situated next to the Thames Barrier in South-East London, evokes ghosts as a migratory tide, washed up along the shore of the Thames their historical baggage in tow. It also explores the presence of artists in this part of London, as a migratory tide of creative flotsam and jetsam which ebbs and flows as the city gentrifies and develops.
Featured works include sculpture, installation, film, sound, performance and wall based works. The exhibition will include installations and outdoor interventions, as well as public events. The Ghost Tide features works by over 30 UK and international artists.
Artists featured: Andrea G Artz, Chris Boyd, Davies, Monaghan & Klein, Gen Doy, Sarah Doyle, Graham Dunning, Diane Eagles, Andrew Ekins, Charlie Fox, Katie Goodwin, Kio Griffith, Miyuki Kasahara, Calum F Kerr, Rob La Frenais, David Leapman, Liane Lang, Toby MacLennan, Laura Marker, Joanna McCormick, Josie McCoy, Jane Millar, Output Arts, Miroslav Pomichal, Brothers Quay, Anne Robinson, Edwin Rostron, Matt Rowe, Sarah Sparkes, Charlotte Squire, Sara Trillo, Yun Ting Tsai, Kate Walters, Patrick White, Heidi Wigmore, Neale Willis, Mary Yacoob, Neda Zarfsaz.
About the Curators: Monika Bobinska is the director of CANAL, which organizes exhibitions and art projects in a variety of settings. She is the founder of the North Devon Artist Residency. Sarah Sparkes is an artist and curator. She leads the visual arts and creative research project GHost (initiated in 2008), curating an on-going programme of exhibitions, performances and inter-disciplinary seminars interrogating the idea of the ghost.
CURATORS’ TALK Saturday 20 October 3pm – 4pm
DAY OF THE DEAD CLOSING PARTY Saturday 3 November 2pm – 7.30pm
Papel Picado Workshop 2pm – 5pm Make your own Day of the Dead ‘cut – outs’ with artist Sarah Doyle. Suitable for all ages, materials provided
Performances and Artist Led Walk 2pm – 5pm Charlie Fox, Calum F Kerr, Joanna Mccormick, in and around the gallery
Day Of The Dead Feast 5pm – 6pm Refreshments served
International Film Screening 6pm Screening of short films in the gallery: Chris Boyd, Liane Lang, Brothers Quay, Yun Ting Tsai and Neda Zarfsaz
I’ve had a productive Summer, with many lovely long days in my studio. I’ve been listening to music each day, especially by young counter-tenors Filippo Mineccia and Jakob Jozef Orlinski. The timbre of the music helps me to find the clarity I need to work well. Shetland continues to inspire me and I hope to return there before long.
I also realised I haven’t posted pictures of the show at Herrick Gallery last October. So here they are!
My work will soon be represented in New York which is very exciting news….
and I’ve an exhibition opening at Arusha Gallery in Edinburgh on February 28th, 2019. The exhibition will host the launch of my new book, Shetland Notebooks.
Here are a few examples of new work…which is mostly on a larger scale…
After a long and hot drive via a swim at Charmouth (very hot car without air-conditioning!) and staying overnight with friends in Dorset, I arrived on the beautiful Romney Marsh. Even as you leave Rye something changes. It’s like stepping back in time: the roads narrow, become twisty; there are railway tracks with barely any gates; animals graze in mixed herds on flat land and there’s a painter’s sky. You glimpse fine churches with sloping roofs dating back over a thousand years; vegetables for sale beside the road, and a sense of mystery in the air. I was welcomed by Angie, Richard and Fred – and their very beautiful flowers – tall sentinels, silent songs….
I’d barely arrived when it was time to go to St. Nicholas Church in New Romney for a programme of music performed by voces8 and the Canterbury Cathedral Girls’ Choir.
Driving down the motorway in the on the way I’d listened to Radio 3 and heard a marvellous piece sung by voces8 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b8bk8z )- I’d wept as I drove, thinking, ‘how on earth am I going to work tonight, to not cry?!’
I found myself a place to sit near the front, to one side, where I hoped to be unobtrusive. I was working with the sound of the music, rather than the visual aspect, at this stage. I found a little table and placed my watercolour sticks, oil pastels and sketchbooks within easy reach. It was important that I did not make a sound to disturb the performers or the audience – I was very mindful of this and felt that I hardly breathed during any of the performances!
Here are some notes I made during the concerts:
Angels are here, in the air moving down with the sound. Golden sound.
The song is made of colour.. mother folds it all in..
Magnificat brings halo and a great crown of many horns and foliage boughs
Moondance – a drawing of a golden child/chrysalis – power of music to liberate, to enhance movement towards individuation
Ave Maria – holding form, enclosing form, comfort; also bridge, all-seeing eye;
Dove: In beauty may I walk – orange band, vertical figures/strokes
Music forms a Spirit cloud above, impregnates the ear, is born in cells; I can make myself a safe ground in sound.
The human voice was prominent on this first evening. I felt a golden quality, a purity, a roundness, a bell-like resonance. The following day I sat in Angie and Richard’s lovely kitchen and began to work from my notes and my quick drawings. What emerged were watercolours in yellows and golds, exploring what happens to the cells of the body as the music is heard and absorbed. Listening to the music, feeling it tranforming the body, had the effect of instilling in me the feeling that I could create my own ground, a safe ground, through it’s transforming and purifying qualities. It’s like having every cell of one’s being stroked and restored.
I was also feeling that the music provided wings which could carry and support, like a marvellous etheric horse….or bird… or winged creature… like this moth, an elephant hawk moth, which I found one night in the house where I was staying…
The beautiful pink and greeny gold of its wings and fur inspired me to soften my palette. I am always influenced by the beauty of Nature which I find around me when I work; most mornings in Littlestone I walked and took in the beauty of the air, the squealing swifts, the red tower, the open beach, the grey-green sea foliage, the white dog, and the black horse…
was performed by the BBC Singers conducted by Michael Zaugg. It was remarkable. I was fortunate enough to hear some of the rehearsal, and I was struck by the intense ‘Russianness’ of the singing, and of the deep mood. I had a good position to one side, and I made a number of drawings and quite a few notes:
The force of the music pushing against my chest is explored through a series of quick drawings. The power and richness of the sound provides a body/earth-opening/splitting implement.
The song finds the earth’s navel, hollows it out, makes a nest. Has a round end like the tip of a colossal thigh bone resting in the earth’s newly made socket….
and the earth is opened by song; when the air itself sings it wraps the human form, makes it new.
Heart meets song; extends vision. Pierced by music. Makes me two;splits me in half (initiation).
Journeys into itself, bids us accompany.
Swift squeal in sky above. Purity.
Roof breast for/to sky
Roof as woman’s body
Sky drinks milk
the bones below
Flesh floats up
I think of the steppe, of tightness in the chest; waiting.
Hum, chatter, waiting for the deep, the song sea, the high, the bathing of spirit
– song as air become liquid to bathe the spirit.
We are sung into being.
this was a wonderful day in two churches – one in the fields, in the quiet, surrounded by tall stems and grasses and wind (St. Mary the Virgin church, St. Mary in the Marsh); the other in the atmospheric St. Leonard’s Church of Hythe, with it’s fine organ and Ossuary.
Drawings of Linda Nicholson (the brilliant keyboard player)becoming a raptor, a fierce focussed bird crouched over the keyboard as she plays.
Organ: reverberations cause the body fluids to move, to change, to flow: the body flows.
Music perceived as pink; pink substance imprinting the cells – music as doorway, the opener of the channels..two sequences coming together, as my dream of two separated poles winding together and apart at the same time, making a sequence of new animals on the greeny-blue gel which is moving between them…
Music as bridge over swimming souls.
The organ reaches out to me, wrapping air in gold
I rest in the flood and
Air bunches in prayer.
Notes as nodes in a net of sound
Rocking a baby
A safe father
Fatherly in a kind way
Different emotional qualities of voice and organ
Organ resonates deeply with the cells of my body: I sob.
On the last Saturday I worked with my ‘hollow bone’ technique, using my drum and monotype equipment, with people in Sussex and Kent who had booked to have a session with me. The work is sacred, powerful and confidential, so I will not write about any details here. Grahame Davies, the Welsh poet worked alongside me and contributed his own experiences to the participants. It worked very well.
On the last night in New Romney, I gave myself the treat of sitting in the front row, near the London Mozart Players. As I was so close I knew I couldn’t use anything wet. I also didn’t have a table, so I just worked with my notebooks and pencils, and this time, more in respnse to the movements of the conductor than to the way the music affected me. Daniel Cook contains a lot of energetic charge in his body when he conducts, and it was a great pleasure to draw him – but I had to be very quick! I also made a few drawings of a fine young soloist from the Mousai Singers.
Faure: Daniel Cook – wing pressing on ear – this is where I spent the time concentrating on the movements of individual bodies in response to music.
Mantas’ Serenade for Strings: the notes are crying; like a carpet for sleeping; the music strokes my arms (I wrote these words before reading about the music and its’ inspiration/dedication)
On the final day there was an exhibition of works in progress, and in the afternoon Grahame and I gave a talk about creativity, inspiration, and dreams. Grahame read aloud some of his poems, and I spoke about a few of the works I’d made, and about the process of working alongside classical music.
On my way home I stayed near Eastbourne and I caught the train to London – so I could go to the Queens’ Gallery to see the exhibition of Mughal Paintings – I’m a big fan! and it didn’t disappoint…
and I was entranced by the golden lilies in my aunt’s garden…
which continued the golden theme…and then there was West Bay in Dorset…
and finally another reminder of beloved Shetland… a fish box seen by the harbour at West Bay…