‘Fluid garlands’, 2019
Textiles Installation, 30 x150 cm
Kath has a tactile, embodied and socially sensitive way of making. She explores places where meanings are unclear and
boundaries undefined; how we try to control our shifting identities and the impossibility of doing so.
Textiles and their associative connections map the transitional times which impact us all. She embraces the everyday
in her work; pre-consumer waste baby wipes, second-hand yarns and clothing are the found materials which she uses
to create meaning. The challenge of living through transitional times is explored through drawing and textiles.
The motion of stitching could be seen as a violent act from which something new is made. Kath’s work is about women’s hidden labour and how inequality sometimes comes from within. Sustainability is at the heart of Kath’s practice; she reuses the waste of modern life to create work which is both beautiful and the abject.
About the work:
Wet-wipe are becoming a clear and urgent environmental problem; 93% of most fat bergs are wipes, one in three gets flushed down the toilet and they are the third most ‘littered’ objects found on our seashores. My pieces use pre-consumer waste wet-wipes, which have been rejected from a manufacturer for being the wrong size. The wipes are tightly pleated, naturally dyed and embroidered into. By using wipes, with connotations of cleaning and childrearing, I also explore feminist ideas around women’s domestic labour. I hint at the difficulties of transitional times which women often find themselves in; the dye from wasted raspberry tea my children have used suggests this fluid state. The plant embroidery implies fertility and pollination and also the possibilities which come from being in an undefinable state. The reproductive elements of plants, the flowers, are often hermaphrodites and although are symbols of excessive femininity, they are actually harder to categorise, and vastly more complex. My work is hung using wire or suspended in water; they become uncanny odd things which hint at test-tubes, underwater creatures and plastics in the ocean. They are ambiguous objects which hopefully question our use of plastics as well as suggest we are all in a state of change. The pieces have a clear activist element; by adding value through the time spent with this throw away fabric, I question the use of polyester for wet-wipes. They become beautiful things which are no-longer thrown away but now are precious. I also run an activist group which campaigns to ban wet-wipes as a single-use plastic.
Social Media: @kath_lovett