Seeing with the Single eye, exhibition catalogue introduction


Broken and bound but determined figures hold or carry animals – not as burden so much as companions to be taken care of with love, – whilst the female protagonist is often shown as protector, or one who is conversant with the vocabulary or inferences these animals figures; speaking of and from their need.

The fearlessness and rawness of these figures or bodies caught in a struggle, is a private dream made public. It is not so much for Art’s sake but more for Life’s sake that Kate Walters’ figures participate in this choreography. Courageous in their lack of artifice or any superfluous allure, these drawings are a form of hieroglyph that tell us of a profoundly personal journey as disguised in the folds of seemingly recognisable forms and actions. In articulating her processes Walters makes her position clear: “the physical body – from the womb, guts, my heart and my sexual centre, are the places from which inspiration for these drawings. These images are always about something I don’t know or something I am about to discover the meaning of or come to understand better.”

Her strong earth colours are an invitation into a live and palpitating space, making of the surface of the paper or canvas an interiority of flesh and warmth that exude a heated scent. The red paint though at first disturbing acts as signal, or perhaps a symbolic pointer. This is the colour that speaks of the visceral in its most dramatically tangible form of life and physical presence. It is birth colour, sacred conjugation of the self in witness to the self being given shape and form. Red as an unknown plasma that is birthed in full view of others witnessing the trauma, whilst the same tint is utilized for the celebratory process of becoming known, named and moulded into a form that is entirely its own unique being. Thus the image of the newly hatched [woman] is reconfigured back into the intricate brocade of Walters’ own body history. She waits and coaxes, as in time the knowledge of this new identity gathers momentum, and so with each fresh image or every new gesture the artist adds to the weft and weave of her world.

These works are daring in their psychological truthfulness. Their quality is in the disarming trust which the figures are seen preoccupied in some abstractly unclear activity. To us, as the Other, Walters presents a glimpse into a strange and unfamiliar life force in search of a metaphysical foundation; an authentic space to accommodate the grandness of expression that is the human condition.

Partou Zia

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