Kate-Lucy Cottam | Materials Hub
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Transition Member: Kate-Lucy Cottam

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Kate is a UK-based textile artist and designer who specialises in hand weaving. She graduated from Falmouth University in 2013 with a BA in Textile Design and went on to study at Masters level in 2017 at UCA Farnham. While in her last year at Falmouth, Kate won the Bradford Textile society 1st prize Clothworkers’ foundation award for a woven fabric for mens or womenswear.

Since university, Kate has worked as a freelance woven textile designer and worked within local community arts and craft organisations.

Kate’s woven collections and one off pieces are delicate and intricate; they encompass mood and narrative through use of colour, structure and choice of yarn. She draws inspiration from a wide pool, but mainly Kate is interested in how we see and view art, craft and colour and translates this into abstract hand painted woven textile pieces.

 

 

“They encompass mood and narrative through use of colour, structure and choice of yarn.”

My work is mainly about an investigation into colour, and visual perception and increasingly I am interested in the visual representation of the fragility of memory. I investigate colour through the use of woven textiles and paper weaving, and aim to evoke a sensitive kind of seeing through this medium. I work towards an outcome that is ambiguous in nature; one that allows the viewer to negotiate and discover a personal happening on the visual senses. I have been influenced by Abstract Expressionist and Colour Field painters such as Helen Frankenthaler and Rothko, who’s works of art are vast swaths of colour that are said to be a ‘simple expression of complex thought.’

Within my practice, I use fine silk filament yarns, reflective yarns and hand painted or dyed yarn to create a visual stimulus. The yarn I use is hand dyed or painted in a variety of methods and woven in subtle single and multilayered structures that react to ambient changes and create atmospheric nuance. My woven pieces initiate and develop from found deconstructed magazine images which are then woven together, making two images one, the obvious ambiguous and meaning in flux. This is then deconstructed further into abstract colour studies with a concentration on hue, chromaticity, saturation and value which, in turn, I translate into a woven piece of art. 

I explore how cloth can become something visual, how it can appear different depending on the time of day or type of light or where the viewer stands. Reflecting light and casting shadows. The fragile quality of my work aims to enhance the viewers experience of it – one can physically see the craftsmanship, the working of the warp and weft and subtle use of dye adds to the experience of a textile collection of art work. 

“I am often dawn to the
lightest of yarns…”

Materials

 

 

 

The themes Kate explores within her woven practice is reflected within her choice of materials; She is often drawn to the lightest of yarns, enabling her to almost create a moment in time with colour.

Kate’s use of filament allows the colour to almost float in the air, catching the light from different angles and generating a visual response from the viewer and has often been described to her as colour in air or a breath of colour.

When considering what materials to use in a piece she often asks herself questions regarding weight, drape, texture… will this material react in a way expected or will extensive sampling be needed? Does the yarn need to be dyed before weaving or paint onto the warp once on the loom?  Her material development often occurs through experimentation and testing.

New Materials

For this body of work, Kate has experimented with a thicker cotton which she hopes will accentuate the fineness of the silk filament yarn. It provides a depth of colour when painted or dyed, which is often absent in the filament pieces because of its transparent and translucent qualities.

 

 

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