New paintings by Kate Pellegrini
Putney Arts Theatre, Ravenna Road, SW15 6AW
Wandsworth Open Studios
Saturday 5th – Sunday 20th October, 2019
Artist attendance: weekends of 5/6th and 12/13th
Make The Arts for Climate Change as rock music was to Live Aid
The exorbitant figures raised for art objects leave us dismayed. Most of us see the value of art and historical museums as repositories for the height of mankind’s achievements, or a record of how they lived in the past. We see ourselves as custodians for exhibits held in perpetuity because they belong to humanity. We consider ourselves enlightened, but those born between 1940 and 1980 will be represented in museums of the future as the generation of self-indulgence, profligacy, greed and complacency because we left it to our grandchildren and the people whose lives are most blighted by rising sea levels and drought to solve the problems created in our lifetime. We cannot keep thinking it’s down to someone else.
I appeal to the most influential leaders in the arts to show us that museums are for the living, not the dead. They could demonstrate what art is for by donating 1% of their treasures to auction for corporate sponsors to contribute to the carbon bank, with dedicated galleries created for the purpose. An Arts Festival could be broadcast in 2019, with co-ordinated worldwide activities and live streaming showing how this generation faced its responsibilities.
Festival broadcast for 24 hours/day over 1, 2 or several days on all TV channels, hosted in countries of different time zones, to provide commentary on the programme.
Featuring local film clips of:
stories of communities’ activities to combat global warming and its immediate effects
stories of businesses investing in sustainable initiatives
theatre, poetry, dance, music and all performing arts doing what they do best
museums showing the items donated for auction, with curators explaining their cultural value
auction houses receiving bids sponsored by brands who profit globally, who invest in reducing CO2 emissions
TED Talks: Al Gore, Mary Robinson, John Doerr, Katharine Hayhoe, David Attenborough, etc
I’m interested in perception: how our focus determines what we see -physically, philosophically and psychologically. When most of us look at a subject, the periphery becomes blurred, so we tend to ignore the context. For some of us, our bias is the reverse, so we see the area around a problem or subject but we don’t see what is staring us in the face. This is the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’ syndrome. This phenomenon works at a collective level as well as a personal one, and explains how a population can be ‘persuaded’ to accept a given line in religion, politics and all forms of societal interaction. It underpins how advertising and propaganda work, and also why humans need to discuss and exchange our views, so that others can reflect back to us our blind spot.
My painting style has developed over many years, using a variety of media including oil paint, acrylic paint, ink and pastel. I’ve exhibited in many galleries and art fairs for the last 20 years. My artwork can be divided into distinct areas: my new ‘Colourscript’ pieces, Representational and Abstract:
The new signature ‘Colourscript’ work explores lettering to continue thirty years of making art and features difficult to read writing, referring to hieroglyphs, code and language. Incorporating writing into the visual artwork gives me many permutations for future work, varying in media depending on the individual piece; the common thread is my use of writing as drawing. I aim to engage with those confused by what modern art is about. Drawing words on the surface spells out the inspiration behind the work’s creation; as the writing is almost illegible the viewer can bring their interpretation to it. Art questions who we are now; drawing written art places my views directly in these universal questions.
The text varies for each piece. Some are mini monologues or poems commenting on the age we live in or my personal experience, and others are taken from writing that moves me. I’ve always loved reading and writing- from the Classics to modern novels and poetry, which captures complex emotions economically and with fine precision. I’m also interested in the shapes of word-making and the physical process of calligraphy as drawing. Transcripts of individual works are available on request.
I paint so I can experiment; oil or acrylic painting allows me to change my mind whilst writing the words so it becomes integral with the image. Combining text and colour on the canvas gives me a huge ‘vocabulary’ to create variations on a theme- a process I am finding endlessly exciting.
The representational work draws on my architectural training. The images are generated by making drawings and taking photographs on location of views or figures, most recently in the UK, Australia, Spain, France and Italy. The work is a layering of building, landscape and figure motifs, which are simplified to establish the elements I want to see in the final piece. The factual information is used to develop ambiguous spatial relationships, in order to reflect the way I perceive my surroundings. The paintings rely heavily on drawing, and also incorporate my memory of and my emotional response to being there. I am capturing just what I see, and editing out what I don’t see, as my eye is highly selective; what is left is in my representational work. Charcoal, mixed media and collage techniques are often used to generate ideas and clarify and identify the elements of a composition which are then worked up into larger paintings. Mixed media works can incorporate found objects or random materials and are finished works in their own right.
The abstract paintings are based on poems or memories that have moved or inspired me by the imagery evoked in the language. The poetry provides the springboard for my work. The work ranges from large, door sized, stretched and unframed canvases, featuring impasto oil paint to small postcard sized watercolours. The actual motifs are drawn from my imagination, in response to a written word, image or memory.
I have been attending Experimental Media classes at Putney School of Art and Design, run by Gavin Maughling, for several years. The course comprises structured lessons for the first half of the term on a given theme, using different media and techniques, followed by our personal response to the theme for the rest of the term. The class is very stimulating because it forces me to think outside my normal modus operandi, and this informs my artwork and takes it in unexpected directions. It is through this class that I have explored sculpture, artist books, printing, continuous scrolls, site specific installations and performance.
My work is influenced by many artists from all periods in art history and different artists inform different works. Alberto Giacometti, Paul Cezanne, Patrick Heron, Henri Matisse, Bryan Wynter, Van Gogh, Picasso, Peter Doig and John Virtue are among my all time favourites.
2019 Putney Library – solo show
2019 Studio 73 Brixton Village – solo show
2019 Radical Landscapes, Devon – group show
2018 Skylark Gallery – group show
2016 Windsor Contemporary Art Fair
2016 PSAD Student Show
2015 PSAD Student Show – winner of Drawing Prize
2015 Islington Contemporary Art and Design Fair
2014 Landscape of Change Exhibition – Curated group show in Stoke Newington
2014 Wandsworth Artists Open House – with Sheila Roe
2013 Untitled Artists Fair – Chelsea Town Hall- one artist stand
2012 Regular exhibitor at Mackenzie Gallery Teddington
2011 Guildford Arts – Clyde & Co Solicitors’ Office group show
2010 Untitled Artists Fair – Chelsea Town Hall – one artist stand
2010 Windsor Art Fair 2009 October Affordable Art Fair, Battersea
2009 Untitled Gallery Group Summer Show at 9 Adam Street, London W1
2008 Putney Arts Theatre Group Summer Show
2008 Bristol Affordable Art Fair – Skylark stand
2007 Landmark Arts Centre Midsummer Show
2007 Putney Arts Theatre – one artist show
2006 Battersea Contemporary Art Fair
2006 Chelsea & Westminster Hospital Exhibition – one artist show
2005 Work Shortlisted for Summer Exhibition at The Royal Academy
Paintings & Drawings in private collections
HEROES – too many to mention.
MARY ROBINSON – HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER
RACHEL PIKE – CHEMIST
JOHN DOERR – CLIMATE SCIENTIST
KATHARINE HAYHOE – CLIMATE SCIENTIST & CAMPAIGNER
PROF. MICHAEL SANDEL – POLITICAL PHILOSOPHER
SIMON SINEK – MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER & AUTHOR
KEN ROBINSON – EDUCATIONALIST