Katie is currently a student of Newcastle University studying a BA Hons in Fine Art and a practicing artist. She has a love for nature and in particular a passion for the need to conserve it, something which gives great purpose to her work. As an environmental artist Katie hopes to allow viewers to engage with conservationist issues on an emotional level through her art. She works in the mediums of painting/printmaking, site specific land art and photography.
My work generally explores mankind’s negative impact on the natural world and our subsequent need to conserve it, with particular focus on marine environments. Whales have formed an importance in my work in becoming a visual metaphor for the global oceans. Like the environment itself, Whales are increasingly being placed in danger due to both the direct and indirect results of humankind’s actions and this can unfortunately be seen in the decline of a number of species worldwide. They face daily threats such as commercial whaling, starvation due to overfishing, ship collisions, habitat degradation due to rubbish, and chemical and noise pollution among other concerns.
Sailing aboard Sea Dragon across the North Atlantic was an inspiring experience which has had a significant impact on my practice. Upon my return from the expedition I have endeavoured to use printmaking as the medium in which to convey a sense of the journey we travelled. By woodcutting and printing directly from driftwood found on the beach I hope to represent something of the journey undertaken by the material. Wood- a natural material- is often shaped by humankind in order for artificial use. Cast aside as waste these planks are then reclaimed by nature and reshaped by the sea to become the beautiful driftwood I collect from the tide line. The driftwood relief print and the other pieces I am exhibiting, depict imagery of the sailing boat itself and the cetaceans we watched from aboard as inspired by the photographs, sketches and video footage I gathered to use as reference on my return. Throughout my work I have also been exploring the idea of the physical journey itself in presenting the actual longitude and latitude coordinates recorded upon the sighting of a whale alongside my prints. I hope to convey, in my work, something of the need for us to conserve the marine environment and to live sustainably alongside the natural world. I am interested in the correlation between art and science and perceive this as a way in which I can engage with people on an emotional level in representing the methodology employed in science on a platform for people and understanding.