Newlyn Art Gallery

24th April - 16th May 2009

In this exhibition, both literal and metaphorical ‘wastelands’ were represented by a range of contemporary art.

Desolate landscapes, dysfunctional societies and broken minds were portrayed in a variety of media including painting, installation and performance, which in different ways seem to evoke the geographical and psychological themes of T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land of 1922. The show included work by Jane Bailey, Sarah Bunker, Paul Chaney, Joe Doldon, Andy Harper, Ally Mellor, Kate Parsons, Alison Sharkey, Lucy Willow, Alexandra Zierle and Paul Carter.

The exhibition was co-curated by Rebecca Darch, Jeni Fraser, Ruth Gooding and Phil Rushworth, who were students on MA Curatorial Practice at University College Falmouth, graduating in September 2009

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Kate Parsons

My art practice covers sculpture, installation and multi-media and currently l am an artist trustee at Spike Island Studios, Bristol, where l also have my studio. I trained at Chelsea School of Art (BA Hons Sculpture 1977), Goldsmiths’ College (ATC 1979) University of London, completed an MA in Art and Design Education (1994) from De Montfort University, Leicester, and a practice-based PhD in Sculpture (2004) at University of Gloucestershire. I have also been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
My work focuses on an amalgamation of art and anthropology, which has stemmed from living and working in Kenya on a two year contract teaching art (1988-1990). l have been investigating Mbari houses in Nigeria for my next body of work, which was supported by the Arts Council England.
Significantly my output nationally and internationally has included showing at the DFN Gallery, SoHo, New York, the National Museum of Kenya, Nairobi, the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London, the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and I have had work archived by Documenta 11, Kassell, Germany and the V & A Museum, London. I have received awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Board and the Arts Council England, which help support my work along with part-time teaching/lecturing.
- Kate Parsons

Presence/Absence II

Presence/Absence II
is a floor construction that has been designed to meld into the fabric of the building. However floor boards have been removed, creating a sense of uncertainty and uneasiness. In the gaps between the floorboards, undulating, dry, red soil sprouts green shoots and reveals leaden remains. The earth is fertile as it sprouts life, though seems redundant in the gallery environment; the artefacts show the presence and absence of human existence through the traces of negative impressions in the clay; the structure appears part of the gallery environment, though it is contesting this. All these factors contribute to a paradoxical tension between presence and absence, hope and fear.
- Ruth Gooding

Recent Exhibitions
2008 Uncommon Ground, Howard Gardens Gallery, UWIC, Cardiff
2008 Spike Island Open Studios, Bristol
2007 Holman Fenwick & Willan, Lloyds Avenue, London EC3

Kate Parsons' website

Kate Parsons' blog; detailing her recent and ongoing work in Nigeria

Spike Island

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