Maker of the Month - Artist Kate McMorrine
We caught up with Kate to talk about her inspirations, processes and her new series of prints ‘Vague Deities’.
My Dad and uncle are artists , my Dad was the art teacher at Portree High School so I was always encouraged to draw. The artists that inspired me were of the dark and decorative, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and the surrealists. At the moment I’m excited by the work of Marcel Dzama, he creates strange worlds and bizarre characters that are always up to something. The etchings of the Portuguese artists Paulo Rego are incredible too.
In relation to my own work I’ve been thinking a lot on the story of The Lady Grange, a high society woman banished to the islands by her husband. She spent 7 years exiled on St Kilda, she passed the days sleeping and broke the monotony by screaming into the crashing waves and winds. Her husband staged a funeral for her in Edinburgh at the time of her kidnapping but in reality she died on Skye in 1745, she’s buried in Trumpan but for reasons unknown another funeral was held in Dunvegan with a coffin full of stones.
I went to Strathclyde for a year of college and then on to Art school, I’ve always made art but find that grown up jobs can get in the way - surviving just through your art can mean you’re broke but at least you’re not owned. Now I’m in a position where I can make my own art as well as teaching workshops, at the moment I’m involved with the University of the West Highlands doing workshops promoting mental health.
I don’t tend to stick to one medium or technique, my work encompasses many mediums from sculpture and printmaking to painting - they all inform one another. The beginning of the year started out really well for me in terms of productivity and inspiration, it’s jammed a bit now but that’s just the way it goes it’ll start to flow again eventually.
If you need to fend off unsolicited attention from men on busses then explain the entire process of etching in fine detail . Oh and draw everyday, it doesn’t matter what it is, it will help build your visual language. Try not to judge it either ,it’s an exercise and it’s helping you build skill regardless of how you feel about it.
The inspiration for ‘Vague Deities’ was born from a visit to the Inverness museum and a strange artefact I came across there ‘ The Goddess of Berenera' . The goddess is a basic bust carved out of whale bone, it’s crude in form but nonetheless enigmatic and strange - her provenance is unknown but most likely she is a fake that has been imbued with some kind of mystery. It was from the Goddess and a collection of erotic vintage images that I drew the title ‘Vague Deities’. During the process of collagraph printing, I use layers of materials in an almost sculptural way, building upon and subverting the figures from compliant objects of fantasy in to ancient but beautiful relics that are sacred and scarred.