Meeting Kathryn Sawbridge - AA2A artist-in-residence at University of Wolverhampton

Kathryn is the second AA2A artist-in-residence at Wolverhampton University that Pam Fletcher and I have met with. We interviewed her about her practice and her experiences working at the art school.

Kathryn’s background is interesting because despite being a practicing artist with a distinction at master’s level in Fine Art, she was advised by an art teacher at school not to pursue art. Recognising the importance of creativity to her life, she decided to ignore that advice. She started her formal art education in photography but turned to fine art as a post graduate. After her MA she took a year off to work at her own pace. However, she missed the structure that being a student had offered and took up the artist-in-residence post in order to work in a creative environment.

Kathryn interests lie in the relationship that colour, images and objects have with emotion and memory. Her personal response to her past is a constant theme in her work. Kathryn’s current project relates to her experiences with hearing loss and tinnitus. The project is about finding a way to express visually and creatively how her condition influences how she perceives the world, particularly it looks at her response to particular sounds.

She cites as her influences Tracey Emin and Louise Bourgeois, as they are artists who both express something of themselves in their art whilst also leaving their work open to interpretation.

Her advice to current art students is to keep and maintain a visual journal to record ideas, thoughts, research, influences and in fact anything that is vaguely relevant. Her sketchbooks are clearly very important to her (she has a number of them on the go at any one time). She talks about the development of art as being an organic process where ideas lead to other ideas, which may be or may not be rejected, and which may lead to other ideas one of which ends up being a piece of work.

Kathryn would like to give a workshop on the use of sketchbooks in art practice.


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