Each month one of the art.earth Board of Directors selects an artist from the membership because they are particularly taken with their work. This month our Featured Artist is UK based performance artist & choreographer Katrina Brown chosen by Minou Tsambika Polleros.
Please tell us a little bit about Yourself & about Your Practice
I am a Devon-based choreographer since 2009, relocating from The Netherlands where I worked freelance and completed an MA Choreography and New Media in 2006. I have an increasingly hybrid research practice workingacross movement, drawing, writing, and still-and-moving image. Working both solo and in collaboration with other artists, developing work in artist residencies such as Assembling in the Hall CAST Helston 2017, tilt-rhythm-back: dances & drawings at Dance4 Nottingham, presenting in gallery-like situations including And a body turns 2019 at The Drawing Centre Diepenheim, Netherlands and between Sol and sea 2022 at Tate St.Ives, as well as on digital artist-pages and zine publications as extensions of live work, including Translucent surface/Quiet body in JAR#18 2019 and in On An/Notations Performance Research 2015. I am Senior Lecturer Dance & Choreography at Falmouth University working with students on choreographic strategies for performance making in screen-based, installation and site contexts. www.katrinabrown.net
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on several threads that have emerged from ongoing research in dorsality and notions of the back, developing since 2019 through workshops, studio residencies, presentations and in collaborative moving, conversational, drawing and writing practices. Developing exercises and choreographic devices for tuning into the back, as a way of bringing attention to and exploring the unseen surfaces and axial technologies of the back. This dorsal practice through movement research is opening a wider set of philosophical concepts and possibilities for orientating in and co-habiting the world. The work is especially evolving in collaboration with writer-fine artist Emma Cocker since 2020 in our Dorsal Practices: Murky Back Thinking, Starting off with a stronger stance of the dorsal as a destabilising and resistant force to convergent forward motion and power structures dominating much of western contemporary working and living, we are moving into a more subtle quiet understanding of the dorsal, less an oppositional alternative to forward drive and more a sensibility with qualities of acceptance, letting in, co-operation. And a softening of the hierarchy of sensory relations. More Info here:
I am on the point of submitting an experimental writing piece for Choreographic Practices journal in which I combine short text, still image and footnotes: curious in footnotes as a way of allowing in other peripheral ideas such as light, moth, vestibular labyrinth, tree, tracing paper, ghost, voice, front-crawling and to generate some gaps for the reader in which to linger, skip, skim, imagine, connect. Still images, diagrams and drawings another way to take note and propose practice. Hence my three images which will feature in this piece.
And I have been working with eight dance students from Falmouth University and a group of teenagers from the youth-led TR14-ers in Camborne to create a short performance between Sol and sea, with the recently re-constructed Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing #1136 in the Artists Rooms: a commission from Tate St Ives as part of The Last Weekend (Sunday 1st May 2022). A collaboration and encounter that has been exciting, fun and deeply touching. More about the Performance at TATE St. Ives here:
What would you say are the primary motivations for your work?
Working through and with the body feels increasingly relevant and intriguing to me when brought into context with idea, material, place, other things. My ongoing fascination in designing workshops, making performance work and artist pages as extensions of live work, is to bring attention to shifting relations between surfaces, materials, bodies, objects. In a way, generating quite formal structures, scores and parameters that allow for unexpected encounters, delicate processes to occur and reveal themselves, situations that create gaps, ruptures, spaces for imagining, reflecting, feeling, thinking. In this time now, in these times of, practices that incorporate notions of horizontality, lying low amongst, dorsality are bringing me into wonderful informal and working conversations with other artists and researchers including Sarah Scaife, Rebecca Hilton, Frankie Williams, Shelley Hodgson. Particularly over the last two years, I greatly value what is emerging from a collaborative conversation practice, observing how my thinking refines, shifts, shapes, opens, slows.
Any particular artists / others who have had a profound effect on you?
I have read a lot of Ali Smith’s novels, currently busy with her new novel A Companion Piece 2022, the way she can get at what’s important and what’s happening now, through her story telling and her characters is magically complex and yet her writing style so accessible, poetic, simply presented, with references to artists, to politics, to songs. It gets me every time. Also currently reading Zadie Smith Intimations, six essays 2020. I also keep returning to Renee Gladman, who combines architecture, language, gesture, drawing, for example Event Factory 2010 (first of the Ravickian trilogy) and Calamities 2016 but also her intriguing Prose Architectures 2016.
Many different contemporary artists have had a profound effect on me at different times even though they slip my memory and sometimes re-emerge later. Springing to mind in this moment are Tacita Dean, Marlene Dumas, Faith Ringgold, Tania Bruguera, Tracey Emin, Jeremy Deller, Francis Alys, Dorothea Tanning.
Also, a number of conceptual European choreographers because that was a time when I was re-orientating in my own work living in The Netherlands and somehow felt peripherally swept up in, for example La Ribot Panoramix 2004 The Laughing Hole 2006 Mette Edvardsen The Artificial Nature Project 2012, Xavier Le Roy’s Low Pieces Mette Ingvartsen’s Black, Thomas Lehmen’s Thomas Lehmen lernt.
And films, always films …. too many to name … at the moment Taiwanese and South Korean films.
Katrina Brown can be found under: www.katrinabrown.net