Kate wanders and wonders (mostly in the Welsh Borders) presenting thoughts on life and landscape with her unique blend of humour, song and gentle satire.
Kate’s work is usually springboarded by a walk but is also formed by research, archaeology, geology, social history and serendipitous conversations. Recent works include:
‘Mindwalks’ (2018) was a collaboration with Professor Antony Collier who lived with MND. New practices of rural landscape painting were created in response to Antony’s increasingly limited physical movement.
‘Walking the Pipe’ (2019) saw Kate walk for 5 days along the Elan Valley Aqueduct to Frankley reservoir in Birmingham, returning to adjacent villages and towns for musical performances, talks and other community events.
‘Finding a Way’ (2021/2) researched how those living with dementia could be supported to explore and share the heritage of Leominster. Kate devised a fun and accessible way of walking together digitally and in real life.
Following the success of Walking the Pipe, Kate’s residency proposal was to walk the perimeter of the 72 square mile watershed of the Elan and Claerwen rivers. Mapped and termed the Watershed Line by the Victorian engineers surveying the site prior to flooding, this tipping point in the water’s flow is marked with concrete posts.
During her time in the valley, Kate walked the perimeter of the watershed, photographing each of the 540 posts she encountered. During the evenings, staying alone at the off-grid Pen y Garreg cottage, Kate recorded her experiences in a journal and composed four new songs inspired by her walks, reading and research. Kate was visited by Ben Crawford, and her thoughts on the walks are featured in his award nominated film From the End of the Road.
Watershed Line was featured in development at Hereford Archive and Resource Centre as part of an exhibition curated by Jackie Morris. Songs written during the residency have been performed at many venues including Cocomad Festival, Artefact Gallery, Midlands Arts Centre, Sidney Nolan Trust, and CARAD.
Kate kickstarted the renovation of the 1962 scale model of the Elan Valley reservoirs in Cannon Hill Park, initially working with archivist Matt Rose and engagement, events and education manager Rosie Slay. She strengthened relationships with Birmingham community groups (such as the GOATS of Cotteridge Park and Friends of Cannon Hill Park) which helped present the opportunity for the current exhibition at the Midlands Arts Centre. Cefndeuddwr/Watershed brought together a showcase of the work of resident artists from the past 5 years alongside archives and artefacts from the Elan Valley. Kate co-curated the exhibition with MAC’s Roma Piotrowska. MAC also commissioned a new work drawing from the material gathered from Kate’s residency: a 10 metre mural of the images of concrete posts presented as a convex ‘dam wall’.
More recently, Elan Links provided the opportunity for Kate to collaborate in a micro-residency with Birmingham based artist collective Walkspace at Cwm Clyd. Kate’s work, including her Elan Valley residency is featured in a major new academic publication from SUNY Walking as Artistic Practice by Ellen Mueller.
Kate is currently resident artist at the Sidney Nolan Trust where she is working on a new project Songs from the Shoreline of Glacial Lake Wigmore gathering stories from a long disappeared Herefordshire lake. She is also planning a performance event at CARAD: How Elan Valley (and other water) Taught me to Sing.