Approved: 16.08.2006

Catherine Bertola

Approved: 16.08.2006

My work involves creating installations, objects and drawings that respond to particular sites, collections and historic contexts. Underpinning the work is a desire to look beyond the surface of objects and buildings, to uncover forgotten and invisible histories of places and people, as a way of reframing and considering the past. Often drawing on the historic role of women in society, craft production

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  • Location: Blaydon on Tyne, North East
 

Biography

My work involves creating installations, objects and drawings that respond to particular sites, collections and historic contexts. Underpinning the work is a desire to look beyond the surface of objects and buildings, to uncover forgotten and invisible histories of places and people, as a way of reframing and considering the past. Often drawing on the historic role of women in society, craft production and labour. My work is not medium specific, the materials used are very much born out of what is appropriate for the ideas and context within which the work is being shown, and is often produced using found materials, imagery, objects and processed that are collected from or familiar to the site. Ideas are developed through extensive research into a particular site or context, whether that is a building, collection or community. This excavation of history and heritage, allows me to develop a deeper and more personal understanding, enabling the work produced to have a more profound relationship within the environment it is made to exist in. The research is carried out through a number of methods, reading, looking, touching, talking and making, all of which inspire and inform the development of the final work. Past installations have involved using dust, a material once described as the matter of history. The dust is applied to or cleaned from surfaces of spaces, to create beautiful wallpaper and carpet patterns, the choice of patterns relating to specific periods of time, as a way of connecting the contemporary existence of a space with it's past and reinstating a sense of intimate domesticity to uninhabited spaces. Other work has been produced in response to museum collections, such as work about the history and heritage of lace. Lace has become a quintessentially feminine, domestic and sexualised fabric whose origins of production are rooted in anonymous female labour. One resulting work, Anatomy, has involved a series of drawings of contemporary lace underwear; the patterns of the garments are drawn using pinpricks, alluding to traditional templates used in the making of bobbin lace. More recent work has involved the use of found photographs, where images of empty interiors from buildings that no longer physically exist in the world are reanimated using both still and moving image. By inserting my own presence into the photographs to create imagery and films, that create an impossible merging of the past and present, where I become trapped miniature worlds of fantasy, that are as sinister as they are romantic. All the work I make, whatever the physical outcome, draws on traditional and familiar domestic crafts, objects and skills as a method of making, and it is fundamentally interested in the idea of invisible labour and occupation, both my own and that of people who have gone before me.

CV & Education

Qualifications and training 1999 - BA (Hons) Fine Art, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne Solo exhibitions 2013 - Flicker, Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley 2011 - To be forever known, Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth 2009 - Unseen by all but me alone, Workplace Gallery, Gateshead 2008 - Over the teacups, Galerie M+R Fricke, Berlin 2007 - Prickings, Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery/Fabrica (in 2006), Nottingham/Brighton 2006 - The Property of Two Gentlemen, Firstsite, Colchester 2005 - Domestic Landscapes, International 3, Manchester 2005 - Domestic Landscapes, International 3, Manchester Group exhibitions 2013 - Masterstrokes: Great Paintings from York Art Gallery, The Collection , Lincoln 2013 - Silences, Nassjo Konsthall, Sweden 2012 - Silences, Temple Contemporary, Philadelphia 2012 - Swept Away: Dust, Ashes, and Dirt in Contemporary Art and Design, Museum of Arts and Design, New York 2012 - Transformations, Smiths Row, Bury St Edmunds 2012 - Wildness Between Lines, Leeds University Gallery, Leeds 2011 - Being Lost, Rogue Project Space, Manchester 2011 - Cult of the Difficult, The Cass Gallery, London 2011 - From Trash to Treasure, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Kiel, Germany 2011 - Intervention, Intervention, Fishmarket Gallery, Northampton 2011 - Personal Tempest, Neue Gallerie, Innsbruck, Austria 2010 - metes and bounds, Galerie M+R Fricke, Berlin, Germany 2010 - Metropolis, Galerie M+R Fricke, Berlin, Germany 2010 - Scion, Barrington Court, Near Ilminster 2010 - Unraveling the Manor House, Preston Manor, Brighton 2010 - Walls are Talking, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester 2009 - Artist Object Project, Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery, Brecon 2009 - Beyond Pattern, Oriel Davies, Newtown 2009 - Can't forget what I don't remember, Circuit, Lausanne, Switzerland 2009 - Out of the Ordinary:Spectacular Craft, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield 2009 - The House of Bling, Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire 2009 - Wonderwall, Temple Newsam, Leeds 2008 - Beautifully Crafted, National Glass Centre, Sunderland 2008 - Kingfisher Tales, Union Gallery, London 2008 - Shake before using, Artium, Vitoria Gastiez, Spain 2008 - The Intertwining Line, Cornerhouse, Manchester 2007 - Jerwood Drawing Prize, Jerwood Space, London and tour 2007 - Out of the Ordinary, V&A , London 2007 - Preview, M+R Fricke, Berlin 2007 - The Opposite of Vertigo, The Drawing Room, London 2007 - Unpicked and dismantled, Kaunus Picture Gallery, Kaunus, Lithuania 2006 - Beacon, Bridge Farm, Bicker, Lincolnshire 2006 - Blue Star Wedge, Glasgow International 2006 - Fine and Fashionable, The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Durham Residencies 2011 - Touching the distance, Culloden Battlefield, Inverness Public commissions 2012 - From the archives, St Barts Hospital, London 2009 - Layer/s, lost without trace, Temple Newsam, Leeds 2006 - Frills and Flounces, Government Art Collection, DCMS Building, London Publications 2006 - Prickings 2005 - Lost Narratives