ESSAY: A Quiet Ecstasy

Kate Walters, September 28 2017

A Quiet Ecstasy


[…] a world in which every woman is the presiding genius of her own body,”

“Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born)


These images by Kate Walters are immediately arresting in their simplicity and power. They seem to float, as if still in amniotic suspension - the world imbued with the infinite potential of new life. In these moments of metamorphic meeting, forms bond with the inevitable abandon of cells.


In these watercolours, they come into being by means of a felicitous emergence through technique of genuinely deep meaning; that is, the flow of the paint is as much followed as directed, the image a result of fluid, of absorption, of tension and viscosity, observed until the moment of birth, then gently held.


At this level, the interconnectedness of living beings appears as a given, clear, a matter of course. Procreation through the meeting of bodies is touching in all senses, and worlds away from the baggage with which struggling humanity weighs it down. I would call it innocence, except that it is deeply knowing. Perhaps this wisdom is the innocence of the fully grown, like Baudelaire’s willed return to childhood through desire.


Time in these works is thus quite other than linear or even cyclical. It just is. I find that when I have been looking at them, they resolve into a simultaneous continuity, such as occurs in dreams, rather than a sequence. They are all one.


Sanguine1 would seem to be their only possible colour, and white space the only possible ground; the colours of blood. And sunrise.