MAstars 2014: Kate Haywood, MA Ceramics
Kate Haywood, Gavotte, 2014. Porcelain, cotton, silk, steel, gold leaf. 64cm x 46cm x 3cm. Credit: Kate Haywood
Paul Wearing selects Kate Haywood from Cardiff School of Art & Design for MAstars
Hung within a three-walled rectangular space, emboldened by a central wall of strong mid-tone blue, Kate Haywood's ceramic and textile assemblages, referencing ideas and objects of ritual and adornment within diverse cultures, were skilfully curated. They can be viewed either as individual pieces or as one artwork: the relationships and dialogues between the individual assemblages encouraged the viewer to stand back and see the artwork in its entirety, whilst the complexity and detail of each piece invited closer inspection.
Kate's grounding in both jewellery design at Central Saint Martins and ceramics at Camberwell and Cardiff has provided her with a fine balance of skills and experience of working with a range of materials. Using textiles as well as ceramics, she combines limited but bold colour with textures, surfaces and edges to great effect: the eye is led across each piece, encouraged to follow and linger on details of precise stitching, a particular mark or irregular edge.
Kate Haywood, Kolo, 2014. Porcelain, cotton. 200cm x 64cm x 11cm. Credit: Kate Haywood
Arrangements of multiple small pieces similar in form but varying in detail hold the eye and attention and seem almost meditative in their sequencing. Other groupings of small pieces, varying in form and detail, reveal a more dynamic relationship, and it is in these that I find the 'thinking through making' approach Kate adopts in her work. She conveys a sense of the creative process, the exploration and questions asked and the discoveries made.
Kate says of her work that it 'functions as a visual haiku' and that 'a precise economy of material and metaphorical language is employed'. It is this artful, difficult-to-achieve balance of skill and sensitivity to both material and subject that is indeed poetic, beautiful and entrancing. My excitement, curiosity and imagination were stimulated by objects at once familiar and alien, as ambiguous references allowed the viewer to bring their own experience into play and to explore the significance and meanings suggested.
Kate Haywood, Volta, 2014. Porcelain, wool. 170cm x 16cm x 4cm. Credit: Kate Haywood
The effect of experiencing this work is to heighten awareness of our own body's relationship with adornment and ritual. Haywood has created a collection of objects rich in association and meaning.
Selected by Paul Wearing
Published October, 2014
About Paul Wearing
Paul Wearing is an artist based at Fireworks Clay Studios in Cardiff. He has been a member there for seven years and held the positions of Chair and Director of the co-operative between 2008 and 2013. As a ceramic artist he holds both BA and MA degrees from Cardiff, has been awarded a setting-up grant from the Arts Council of Wales, won Welsh Artist of the Year and exhibited widely throughout the UK. In addition to his ceramic practice he is an experienced curator and was a co-founder and co-director of Elements Gallery and Studio. In 2014 Paul was awarded a further grant from the Arts Council of Wales for the development of his creative professional practice.