Katharine West is an artist who works primarily in clay. Central to her work are phenomena associated with landscape, seascape and the human body.
Katharine West is a Fulbright Ireland Alumna, a graduate of NCAD, the School of Decorative Arts, Strasbourg and the NYSCC, Alfred University, USA. She is chair of ATU Galway’s BA in Art where she lectures in Ceramics, Fine Art and Creative Education. She is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. Her work is made from her studio in Rosscahill, Co, Galway. Current work can be seen in ‘Monument’ at the Galway City Museum and ‘White Engenders Black’ Farmleigh Galleries, Phoenix Park, Dublin.
‘Suspended Matter #1’ is part of a series of pieces through which possibilities inherent in the landscape of form, fold and lacunae are exploited both physically and metaphorically. The notion of the ‘Lacuna’ as an internal space, void or suspended volume is played with. The resonance of the object, its matter, its fluidity and the tension between its internal space and external form are explored within the context of the malleability of the material itself which is clay. The object plays with space, light, form and illusion. ‘Suspended Matter #1’ contains air and questions the solidity of the object itself.
‘Suspended Matter #1 is made from coils of stoneware flax clay. The surfaces of the piece have been covered in layers of a white ‘Terra-Sigillata’. Terra-Sigillata is an ancient method of colouring and sealing the surface of the clay. The finest particles of the clay body are separated from the original clay body forming the terra-sigillata solution and in the case of ‘Suspended Matter# 1’ the Terra-Sigillata has been gently applied to the form in layers that gradually build a reflective surface.