Heliotrope by Kate Livingstone

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Heliotrope is Kate Livingstone’s second solo exhibition at Upright Gallery. Returning with her signature pattern based abstract paintings, she presents a collection of new works on paper and fabric.

Livingstone’s paintings focus on pattern and surface. Using washes, tracings and meticulous brushwork she creates multi-layered compositions by deconstructing, reconstructing and repeating imagery, balancing complex networks of marks with symmetry and structure. Her works are often intensely detailed, absorbing and meditative.

Explorating pattern and an interest in poetry led Livingstone to consider abstraction within the context of written language. The starting point for Heliotrope was a study she made of Wassily Kandinsky’s 1912 artists book of surrealist poetry and woodcut prints entitled Klänge (Sounds). This work is a synthesis of writing and art which highlights the connection between abstraction in language and painting. She connects particularly with Kandinsky’s use of language relating to colour; in Klänge he describes colours as ‘beings’ who perform actions upon one another (Pale Blue Spots Yellow Glare, Orange Cloud Radiated Violet) and constructs new words which mix or juxtapose colours (Strangling Redblue Clouds, Ornamental Patterns of Brownwhite).

In responding visually to Kandinsky’s poetry Livingstone explores the way in which one medium of art translates into another, creating evocative, abstract descriptions with her use of colour, shape and pattern. This is a reversed version of the literary exercise called ‘ekphrasis’; producing a piece of writing which vividly and poetically describes a work of visual art.

In Heliotrope Livingstone exhibits digitally printed textile work for the first time. She has previously made paintings of the unexpected abstractions and variations found in scrunched and manipulating patterned fabric, and over time this has led her towards developing her own pattern designs for textiles. The exhibition also includes paper and cardboard compositions, some involving collage and some inspired by the folding processes of origami. These small scale, tactile works explore the chance distortions which happen within patterns when painted paper is folded and cut.



16 April, 11-4.30

Come and meet Kate Livingstone and discuss her work at the gallery.

Book via gallery website

4 people at a time, 30 min slots