Engage Summer School; Report, Kate Walters

Project Proposal / Intentions
I was interested in attending the engage summer school in Padua this summer (2013) because I wanted to meet a new group of influential people. I recently had a very successful solo show at Newlyn Art Gallery (The Secret Worth A Thousand) and I was – and still am – keen to find new venues to take the show, or a version of it, to. I felt that I would be able to talk about my show, and reach potential new audiences.

The educational aspects of the show were significant, and over-subscribed, and I felt that having the time and opportunity to open up themes in it to several educational officers could have potential.

I also wanted to visit the Scrovegni Chapel to see the Giotto works – early Renaissance altarpieces are one of my most fundamental inspirations.

I was invited to give a presentation at engage summer school based on my experiences as an artist; the focus of the whole gathering was on leadership and resilience so I had to direct my presentation towards how I employ leadership and resilience in my practice as an artist.

I discussed my approaches to funding, peer support, galleries, educational aspects etc. Good questions were asked, and I received very positive verbal feedback on my honesty about what works/doesn’t work for me. I wasn’t able to address all the points about my work (such as expanding on theories about Nature, Goethe, the feminine – but I did at least introduce them) which I had initially wanted to, as the Director of engage wanted me to focus on leadership and resilience.

I met two people in particular who I will communicate with further. One is a writer who used to work for Ikon Gallery in Birmingham (she is from Helsinki), and the other is a tutor and curator based in Brno, Czechoslovakia (who I gave documentation from my show at Newlyn). She teaches MA students within the gallery space, which is what I did at Newlyn, so I feel I could have a lot to offer. I have been in touch with her and things are looking promising regarding a show in Brno next year or in 2015 – subject to funding.

All the sessions I went to I chose for their appropriateness and I did learn new things about education in galleries, gallery collections, the motivations of education staff, and their passion for their roles. I felt slightly in the minority as a practising artist, but several of the other participants did have practising backgrounds – and some really didn’t! But it was interesting to see different perspectives, and also to step outside my usual role for a while, and to see things from a different view. Trips the school organised included visiting the educational museum, the amazing and vertiginous dissection ‘theatre’ at Palazzo Bo, and a reception evening with prosecco and canapés at the Eremitani Museum.

I enjoyed visiting the Scrovegni chapel which was something I have wanted to do for thirty years so I went twice – and to the archaeological museum, as there were remains of a human found buried inside the skeleton of a horse. For me this was a remarkable find as my work really centres on the relationship between humans and animals, particularly horses.


Kate is curating
Like/don’t like/don’t care
Artspace Pavillion
Mile End Art Pavillion
Clinton Road, Mile End Park, Tower Hamlets, London E3 4QY
Thursday 24 October 2013 - Sunday 3 November 2013
Preview: Wednesday 23 October, 17:00 - 20:00

Kate Walters’ works in watercolour are concerned with the interaction of the animal, plant and human worlds; depicting in raw and graphic immediacy a relationship that is both intimate and nurturing.
Walters studied fine art at Brighton University and then taught before completing a postgraduate fine art diploma at University College Falmouth. She has received two major awards from Arts Council England South West (2004 & 2007), travel bursaries for the Venice Biennale and research trips to London and Berlin, and The Juliet Gomperts Trust for her solo show at Newlyn Art Gallery. Walters was selected for a-n’s ‘Go and See’ initiative and received funding from VASW to attend the ‘engage’ summer school in Padua (2013). Her work has been short-listed for the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2003 & 2008); selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (2006); the Discerning Eye exhibition, Mall galleries, London (2002/6/11); Artsway Open (09/05), Sway, Hampshire; Visual Exhibition for Art of Ideas II, Birmingham (2009); the Royal West of England Academy, the Exchange Drawing show; and her solo show at Newlyn Art Gallery, which was reviewed in The Guardian and the Spectator.
Walters organises and curates group shows; Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich (2013), the Art Pavilion in Tower Hamlets (2013) and a fund-raising drawing show for the charity Freedom from Torture, Millennium, Cornwall (2013).
She will have a solo show at the New Schoolhouse Gallery, York (2014). Kate is represented in Cornwall by Millennium.
The Guardian Preview Exhibitions, Skye Sherwin 1.12.12
Spectator Article
, Laura Gascoigne

Image: Plant Spirit Watercolour 20 x 20 cm Kate Walters 2012

Kate Walters was awarded a professional development bursary from Visual Arts South West to support her attendance of the engage summer school in padua.

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Visual Arts South West

Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

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