‘It is a joy to be hidden, and disaster not to be found’
- Donald Woods Winnicott
The tension between safety and danger, security and vulnerability, is a central focus of Katherine's work. In this new project, she uses the archetypal playground as a vehicle for describing these contrasting themes, manipulating impressions of those familiar objects specifically made for the process of childhood play and experiment. Like the house structures predominant in earlier work these structures may not be as dependable as they seem, reflecting the fallibility of the human condition.
The playground is also a symbol for the privilege of parenthood, allowing a re-acquaintance with the playthings of one's own childhood, whilst warning of the encroachment of responsibilities and restrictions to which the adult's life has become anchored.
The paediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott's notion of play in adulthood - reached through, among other things, art, sport, humour, conversation and study - emphasizes the crucial role of play in the development of authentic selfhood. Katherine engages with the importance of the existential feeling of being engaged with the world, away from the petty distractions of everyday life while concurrently acknowledging the potentially disastrous consequences of the suppression of these feelings.
In the prints made with Pauper's Press Mother and An Odd Angelic, playground furniture in the artist's local South London park is contextually re-imagined. They incorporate disparate formal elements both real and imagined, and entropic lines, smudges and delicate connective tissue form protective nets or shadows surrounding a child's play house and climbing frame.
Katherine's methods are experimental. For her, there is nothing rigid about the process of print, and she enjoys the physicality that in part informs its language. Its flexibility allows her to continually add and subtract colour and contrast from the plate or block until, after a lengthy proofing process, she arrives at the finished piece.