Skip to main content

Interview with Kate Wilson

Kate Wilson is another artist whose work I found via social media. She is Canadian, and her work in drawing, installation, and animations caught my eye because of its authority and integrity, both in its purpose and in its execution. She is currently preparing for a busy summer of multiple exhibitions, so I'm gratified that she took the time to answers some questions about her work and process.



Geometric Sunshine (partial view) Beyond/In Western New York, 2007
acrylic on wall, dimensions variable, University at Buffalo Art Gallery at the 
Center for the Arts. Photo credit: Biff Henrich/Keystone.


Philip Hartigan: Your work looks like a collision between the organic world, chemistry diagrams, and classic abstract art. How does it appear to you?

Kate Wilson: Actually, your assessment is very close. I never know where to begin. It is a matter of placing pen to paper and seeing where the line takes me. Perhaps subconsciously I’m incorporating visuals or text that inspire: my current reading material, chemistry diagrams, botanical and architectural drawings, musical/ sound discoveries, celestial and natural phenomena.
 
Philip Hartigan: Have you always developed your work with installation in mind?

Kate WilsonIn 2005 I exhibited a multiple series of small drawings on paper at the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris. During the opening of Canadian Club a museum director from Denmark suggested and encouraged me to scale up my drawings to room size proportions. The dramatic proportional shift in scale was something I contemplated doing for quite some time but the added impetus inspired me to seriously consider the reality of scaling up my work.
Collages in Motion and Artificial Dreams, ink on paper, study for a large-scale wall drawing, 27 x 35 cm, 2010. Collection: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Philip HartiganHow important to your process is drawing?

Kate Wilson: Drawing is central to my process. It is a visual language, a lexicon, spontaneous, meditative, immediate, direct and based in imagination and memory. I am interested in the profile of line and I use line interchangeably as object and contour. I often refer to my preliminary drawings as small, contained architectures that serve to make the familiar visible and readable in an intentionally new way.
 
Philip HartiganHow did your animations come about?

Kate Wilson: My animated films are an extension of my large-scale wall drawings. I intend to project my films on a large scale and create immersive animated visual environments.
  1. Curious Lights, ink on paper, 27 x 35 cm, 2011
Geometric Mechanics, ink on paper, 27 x 35 cm, 2012 

Philip HartiganWhat's the single most interesting thing about the creative process for you?

Kate Wilson: The moment of discovery, connecting lines, lines leading to lines, and accidental breakthroughs. The moment of discovery occurs when I lose myself in detail while simultaneously bringing out hidden architectural and botanical environments. I am especially interested in drawing as a continuing process of research – the construction of verbal and visual information systems.
 
Philip HartiganWhat's your next project?

Kate Wilson: I am preparing for Ecotopia a group exhibition at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, in Ontario, Canada. The curator commissioned a large-scale site-specific wall drawing. Also, I’m working on a second animated film titled A Primer of Small Stars. The film will include an excerpt of one of my sound compositions. I’m already thinking ahead and planning my next animated film based on a new series of geometric drawings

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

On my 300th blog post

Crikey!

It's my 300th blog post. And I seem to remember that in my 200th blog post I said that I would start quoting from John Ruskin's "Praeterita", after which this blog was named. Well, better late then never, so quotation number 2 is below.

First, though, some thoughts on this blog and blogging in general. I started Praeterita at the end of last year after reading a book by an art-marketing guru called Alyson Stansfield that recommended it as a means for artists to publicise their work better. But from the start I thought it would be more interesting to talk in a discursive way about my wider interest in art, and artists, and the history of art. After a desultory beginning where I only posted once a week, my blogging habit has now grown to the point where I am posting sometimes twice a day, and more than 45 times per month (helped enormously by the Blogger feature that lets you save blog posts with a post-dated timestamp, so that you can put posts in the bank to …

My worst open studio

Most open studios are notable for nothing really happening. You sit there waiting for people to come into your studio, eat all your nibbles and guzzle the free drink, and then leave after a cursory glance at your work. Usually, the worst thing that happens is that you get stuck in a boring conversation with a dull person,

But there was one time a few years ago when I got into one of these conversations, and quite quickly the person I was talking to started to make homophobic remarks about another artist in the building. After a few minutes, I decided I'd had enough and asked him to leave. He seemed genuinely surprised that I had any objection to what he was saying, which in retrospect makes me even angrier if he thought he had a sympathetic ear.

He asked me why, and I told him I didn't like people talking that way, and I said: "This conversation ended 30 seconds ago." So he left.

So, nothing dramatic like Jackson Pollock getting drunk in a fancy New York apartment a…

Brancusi in Plastic

Artist Mary Ellen Croteau is showing these columns made from recycled plastic cartons and lids in the window of the Columbia College bookstore on Michigan Avenue. They are a playful homage to Brancusi's "Endless Columns", with a serious environmental message for our times:

Mary Ellen also runs a wonderful experimental art gallery in a window space in west Chicago, called Art on Armitage. I will be exhibiting a mixed media piece there during August 2012.