Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00

Artist Interview: Kate Walters

With the opening of our August exhibition, ‘The mute, the hidden and the mysterious’, we spoke to artist Kate Walters about the motivations behind her work, her preferred methods and how she feels about exhibiting in Scotland for the first time.


E: Kate, your work is full of spiritual imagery and many people have picked up on the relationship between humans and animals that you depict. Is this a conscious theme in your work?

K: Yes, absolutely. My work is informed by my life experiences with animals, what they have taught me, and by the frequent and vivid dreams that I have. I have sometimes wondered about the way I represent the human-animal relationships in my work and whether I am manifesting this in the best way. A recent dream I had reassured me that it was. In the dream I was walking along a Cornish lane and all the wild animals living in the banks came out towards me, and showed me the insides of their mouths. I could see their delicate mouths and tongues, and I knew in the dream that we were speaking the same language. This felt reassuring to me.

E: And how do your works come about physically, how do you prefer to work?

K: I always work alone, in one of my studios in Cornwall. I can’t work with outside distractions but I do always listen to music. Often this will be classical music such as works by Schubert, Bach or Beethoven. A particular favourite is Handel. I also love sacred music and the music of Iraq and Africa. Anything with heart and strength! I work almost every day but can only ever do three or four hours at a time as it is physically and emotionally quite exhausting. That said, I would also prefer to be using any spare time I have to work! I read a great deal around the themes in my work, on for example the feminine archetype, on cave paintings, on sacred indigenous teachings, classical Chinese landscape poetry, and Italian altarpieces, which are one of my chief sources of inspiration.

E: Outside of creating your own work I believe you teach students and mentor other artists?

K: That’s true yes. I think I am quite an intense teacher, I challenge my students but I always get good feedback from them with regards to my teaching style! I am just about to create a new course for a group to work with their attention towards the feminine, the sacred and nature in their own work.

E: Does your own style ever influence your students work?

K: No they all develop entirely independently, of me and of one another. That is the best way for artists to develop their own voice!

E: And how do you feel about the exhibition, and showing your work in Scotland for the first time?

K: It’s great. I love the gallery space being so open and light. The location is great too, I am looking forward to the rest of the exhibition and to giving a talk in the gallery about my work!

E: And we are looking forward to it too! Thanks Kate!


Kate Walters is giving an artist’s talk on the 24th August in Arusha Gallery at 13A Dundas Street. For more information about attending please call 0131 557 1412 or come into the gallery and speak to one of our staff members.