As Back Lane West reopens to resident artists for the first time following the most recent lockdown, we are delighted to be welcoming St Austell based artist Katie Watts to make use of the space during the final weeks of her degree at Plymouth College of Art.
Recently Katie has been experimenting with photography to capture personal moments of silence and explore feelings of melancholy in a diaristic manner, and during her residency she will be working on ‘lone’, an ongoing body of work exploring the loss of touch. Absence quietly dominates this visual series, in which still frames balance a reality of distance with a desire for connection.
Katie says “I have experienced first hand the effects of a loss of physical connection due to the current pandemic, and have used my art practice as a distraction from my overpowering thoughts; it has acted as a form of therapy in some ways. Working tactically with analogue and instant film enables a raw and private narrative to be conveyed and hopefully supply comfort to others. We have all, in some way, adapted to this solitary life, but that does not mean it has been easy. I wished to document my individual struggle visually, not only to trick myself that I am coping but to inform people that they are not alone.”
Katie is currently studying for a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Photography at Plymouth College of art and has exhibited as part of ‘Snapshot’ at Plymouth College of Art Student Union. Katie uses photography as a tool of communication; creating a sense of dialect to stimulate conversation. The process carries her through a journey of reflection to help her comprehend the message she wishes to convey. Analogue photography is her preferred way of developing and performing in practice due to what she describes as its ‘complicated simplicity’ and its ability to function ‘honestly and reflectively’.
Katie often finds herself shooting candid frames and refining them further after developing, allowing herself this freedom with a roll of film imbues her photographs with a unique sense of personality, yet privacy concerning their blunted narrative arc.