KATE TEDMAN – THE SURFACE
curated by Christine Enrile
Milan – “The Surface”, the first solo show in Italy of the English artist Kate Tedman, was inaugurated on Friday 7 February at 6.30 pm at c|e contemporary.
Self-taught both in the art of drawing and embroidery, two techniques that she mastered perfectly and naturally, K.T. creates dreamlike environments inhabited by fish, plant elements and eccentric and mysterious characters from distant eras. Her work often recalls past events, myths and external influences to create fantastic worlds full of intricate details and decorations.
The title of the exhibition is inspired by Margaret Atwood’s book “Surfacing”, a work in which the protagonist tries to discover her origins by trying to put together the fragments and clues to complete the puzzle of her life.
The title represents Kate Tedman but above all it is a mirror of her works that are the result of her experiences and external solicitations as Kate Tedman gets inspiration and lets herself be guided by the inputs
that come to her from the context that surrounds her.
The works painted on canvas show an obsession for every detail, in fact the colors are applied with the tip of syringes to obtain greater precision.
This almost obsessive attention to the drawing and the drafting of the color, however, is not laborious enough for the artist who also uses fine wool and cotton threads in his works to create delicate lines and motifs that, in the 4 paintings on display, give life to representations of absurd survival mechanisms.
On the occasion of this first solo exhibition at c|e contemporary Kate Tedman has also created works by embroidering on ancient engraved portraits or ancient oil works.
The effect obtained is of an incredibly detailed and intricate surface that is both ancient and modern at the same time.
Tedman collects, repairs and reassembles these curiosities from our past. Her collection is carefully sourced from flea markets, antique fairs and private sources.
She feels a fondness for these forgotten people who were once so important. These original works are sometimes damaged, dusty and melancholy, yet their stories indicate moments of great fame and achievement within their own lifetimes.
These original works are sometimes damaged, dusty and melancholy, yet their stories indicate moments of great fame and achievement within their own lifetimes.
Kate Tedman tries to bring them back to the surface of our consciousness, applying color and giving it shape. Her stitched, laborious and meticulous brush strokes avoid damaging the integrity of the original work, bringing them, once again, to the surface of our attention.
The ancient art of embroidery is used by the artist in a modern way to enrich these works of the past by continuing to make them live even today.
The works on display serve to discard the arrogance of the modern world, and instead give homage to our heritage, history and forgotten people, bringing them once more to the surface, with pride and dignity, into our modern world.
Kate Tedman was born in the Lake District of northwest England in 1979. Her art career evolved after graduating in Philosophy at Heythrop College at the University of London.
Her career encompasses an 11 year period of international art collaboration called ‘KateEric,’ alongside US artist Eric Siemens, working from London, San Francisco and Genova, Italy. KateEric worked closely with Bay Area gallerist and curator Wendi Norris of Gallery Wendi Norris. Paintings and sculptural works have been displayed in the USA, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and has been reviewed and featured in ARTnews, Art in America, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times and numerous other publications.
From 2014, Kate concentrated on her individual artistic career. The transition from duo to independent artist is a time to find and identify ones own authenticity, finding confidence to follow a new, complex and intriguing path. It sounds simple, yet for a perfectionist, it is more easily said than done. There is no bravado, vanity or egoism involved in the resulting art. The artist has allowed herself time and observation to explore what she genuinely finds the most intriguing, and to embellish it with her own perspectives.