|Kate at work|
Hello Kate! Please introduce yourself. Who are you? Where do you come from? What is your field of specialization?My name is Kate Langrish Smith and I am an English designer and artist living in London. I was born in north London and grew up in north Norfolk, in the east of England. My work is currently engaged with the sculptural process and implementation of mark making. I am currently concentrating on using plasters and acrylic polymers to create sculptural forms. Casts are made directly from the body, meaning the finished pieces can be refitted onto the body whilst simultaneously depicting the surrounding negative space. My intention is to create sculptural art work that appeals to the individual, initially on a tactile and simplistic level. I want the primary reaction from the audience member to be a desire, and a want to engage with the object on show. I am interested in the semiotics of objects, their place and time within our society; how they influence taste, status and desire. This is something that perhaps the audience might take into consideration once they have gone beyond the tactile level of the work.
Where are you based?
I am based in East London, my studio is in Hackney Downs.
What inspires you in general?
Inspiration comes from all sorts of things, situations and people. I never know what is going to inspire me until I see it! Films, books, exhibitions, or just a walk in the forest, along the beach or canal - or just wandering around London taking in all the sites, sounds, people and chaos.
What place or city do you find inspiring?
I find any new place/city inspiring. I recently went to Italy for a few days with a friend, the weather was awful but we drove from the coast up to the Abbruzo region in the middle of Italy and the mountains and views were just awesome. Also the people, their attitude and food was pretty inspiring as well!
What is it like to be a young artist in your city/country?
In London you are one of hundreds and thousands of artists and creative types in a city that is constantly moving and revolving around the next creative concept, at such a fast pace that it can sometimes be quite overwhelming and hard to get perspective on it all. However, a lot of my friends are in a similar position to me or at least working within some creative field, therefore I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many amazingly talented and interesting individuals all forging their own path and all creating start up businesses, events companies, labels and being artists in their own right. London is also full of amazing opportunities and inspiration in terms of gigs, museums, restaurants, bars, it is never ending - the social side of life in London is great.
What attracts you about the FASHIONCLASH platform?
I am attracted by the opportunity to be able to exhibit in Europe alongside other artists and designers. I see it as a great opportunity to showcase my work through a festival, showcasing the art of fashion.
The FASHIONCLASH exhibition is curated under the theme of "age." How does your creation relate to this year's theme?
My work relates to the theme on a number of levels, I am attempting to encourage engagement and connection through a perceptual as well as an aesthetic level. This is through the materiality, proximity and placement on, around and in relation to the body. During the process of making, the marks left on the artifacts, marked by touch, capture a moment in time, illustrating a remnant/a trace of human presence - an ‘Age’.
How and why did you become an artist?
I think I have always be very actively creative, and was encouraged from a young age to draw, paint and make things on an almost daily basis, so it is pretty much engrained! My mother has played a very strong role in encouraging me to go to art school and to follow my somewhat meandering creative path.
Do you have a muse? If yes, who is it and why?
My friends and family - they are a constant support and inspiration.
What kind of feeling do you want to transfer with your creation?
The feeling of desire and a need to engage and interact with the pieces that have been exhibited. I want the viewer to appreciate these objects primarily on an aesthetic level, and then develop a deeper connection, through their familiarity with organic form.
What is on your playlist when you are working?
Oh god, I weirdly work quite a lot in silence as otherwise I get distracted. Although if I want some background music I will listen to some classic radio, or French radio London is pretty good! Or put on some Serge Gainsbourg, or a bit of Primal Scream recently, maybe a odd bit of Metallica or a cheeky bit of Meatloaf, AC/DC or Black Sabbath (ha ha). Pretty varied really.
|Kate's inspirations board|
What book shaped you?
Possibly Oscar Wilde’s Complete Fairy Tales particularly the Happy Prince and the little match girl. I remember being read them time and time again, and how well they teach children about humanity and how life can be such a harsh reality for some.
Who is your favorite artist/designer?
I don't ever have one...I think I like different people at different times for different reasons....I am really into Ron Arad at the moment, and also just went to see the Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibition at the Barbican which totally blew me away! Matthew Barney is a constant inspiration as is Rebecca Horn, and Grayson Perry for being so articulate and such a great social commentator, which I strongly believe is the role of the artist within society.
What is the latest thing you bought for yourself?
A book called "Material Matters - New Materials in Design."
What is your favorite fairy tale and why?
"The Twelve Dancing Princesses" published by the Brothers Grimm, it is about these twelve princesses who go dancing every night with twelve princes in a secret underground cave and wear their shoes out every night... it is such an amazing fairy tale I remember it so clearly from being told it when I was little. I used to fall asleep and dream of being rowed through the underground river and walking though the forest of diamonds to then dance until my shoes where worn through with a handsome prince - what a dream.
|Kate's inspiration board|
If your life were a song what would the title be?
Here I go again.... (Whitesnake!)
What made you smile today?
Trying to learn to float in the "contemporary lane" at the London Fields lido this morning! I can swim but I can’t seem to float properly... A friend is trying to teach me the art of floating... it is quite funny.
Twitter or Instagram?
What is your definition of style?
A belief in yourself, and the ability to depict your own taste through your choices.
Experience is relative.... Uuuummmm, I’m not sure I have had it yet! Well, apart from doing my Masters of Arts and meeting incredible people in my peers and tutors. Generally, experiencing and creating working relationships with people via the MA and other previous creative projects has been great.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Hopefully to hear about future exhibitions/collaborations/commissions. I want to get involved in doing more commissioned projects and to exhibit more of my work internationally, and eventually to work on large scale public projects.
Pictures: Stephanie Potter Corwin and Kate Langrish Smith.