Kate tries to capture the delicate detail and beauty found in nature. Her work is influenced by plants, insects and found objects which she recreates as intricate, life-sized sculptures and arrange carefully into collections, installations and dioramas.
Kate has always been fascinated by the natural world and documenting what she discovers has become her main motivation for creating her work. She loves scientific illustrations and museum collections that record and display information and document our discovery of nature. She views her work as a 3D record of her learning and experiences of the natural world. Researching and documenting different aspects of the natural world is a big part of her work and she uses this information to inspire new ideas and to design the sculptures from.
Kate works mainly with paper as this is a medium she has loved and used since she began her creative practice. She also uses wire, thread and other reclaimed materials. When she moved from creating 2D work to 3D it seemed like a natural progression to continue using paper and its properties lend themselves well to the plants and insects she likes to create.
Kate uses a range of techniques to create her sculptures including carving, wire work and embroidery. Everything she makes is drawn and then cut by hand. The insects bodies are carved from stacks of paper and then covered with paper shells. The butterflies’ wings are embroidered by hand to keep their patterns accurate and the threads close together. These are very time consuming processes which means a bug can take anything from 30 minutes to 3 hours to make and the butterflies can take from 1-10 hours to stitch and assemble.
Kate loves the changes in colour and texture created by the variety of materials and techniques she uses, helping to make the sculptures more life like. Some of the sculptures she creates make use of the colours and textures found in the papers she collects, like the background of a photograph in a magazine or the bumps in a screwed up old paper bag. Kate also uses watercolours and inks to add colour to the sculptures, creating more natural tones and organic patterns.’