ABOUT KATE LYDDON
Kate is a practising painter and sculptor. She also does drawing work and is in the process of investigating video / film art. Kate recently won the Mark Turner sculpture prize. She has also exhibited work in the Saatchi gallery. In 2001, Kate graduated with a BA degree in Painting and Printmaking. She was studying in Canterbury at the time, and found the teaching methods somewhat old fashioned. Painting and drawing was taken from life every day: life drawing and still life. She stayed on for two years as an artist in residence. Kate studied further in Sweden at the Royal Institute of Art where the course provided progression for an artist’s professional development. She found this a mind opening experience as far as contemporary art was concerned. The course encouraged her to develop a more contemporary style, away from the conventional. Kate studied for her MA degree in London at Chelsea. This allowed her to “contextualise [her] position as a contemporary painter”. She describes this as having been a short but busy year, and the start of the type of work that she still does at present. In 2008, she held her first solo exhibition, in an ‘artist run’ space, in Hackney, East London. At this time she began to make objects, and also short stop motion animation films. REASONS BEHIND KATE’S WORK The human figure fascinates Kate, as well as the relationships between people. She describes pieces of her work as being “expressions of psychological angst. What is the point of life?” She studies human behaviour, and the human form in space. Lyddon’s work is regularly exhibited in the United Kingdom and internationally, featuring at galleries such as Zabludowicz Collection, Jerwood Space, Richmond Museum and Standpoint Gallery (all London), Skellefteå Kunsthalle (Skellefteå, Sweden), Museum of Mali Losinj (Croatia) and Galerie d’YS (Brussels).
Working across drawing, painting and sculpture, Kate Lyddon creates scenes of bodily absurdity and dark humour. A cast of characters, sometimes cartoon-like and often grotesque, enact a variety of nonsensical actions and poses. For this Invites exhibition Lyddon has produced a new series of works, linked by the motif of trees in various guises – spreading branches, twisting roots, and dead stumps – which merge and morph into human form. These figures march, chop, and dance across complex compositions.
The production of each work involves embarking on a journey into the unknown, with Lyddon feeling her way at every step. Combining a variety of mark-making and collage techniques, Lyddon’s pencil drawings, detailed etchings, human size sculptures, and expansive canvases result in a range of scales within the exhibition. Resisting stability or repetition, Lyddon’s formal experimentation allows chance and serendipity to play an active role in determining the direction her imagery grows.
Lyddon’s approach acknowledges and draws on the messy nature of ‘real life’, which seeps into the enclosed worlds she creates, without ever threatening to undercut their otherworldly strangeness. Rather than communicating a central narrative, she instead proffers images that emerge intuitively from her imagination. Their fascination resides in the way that they convey latent meaning which ranges from the general to the specific, the ugly to the beautiful, and from the age-old to the contemporary.