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Kate Davis

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  • Kate Davis Senior Tutor (Research), Sculpture Programme
  • Area

    School of Arts & Humanities

    Role

    Senior Tutor (Research)

  • Kate Davis is a sculptor who lives and works in London and Edinburgh. She has an independent practice and additionally works collaboratively with Scottish artist David Moore under the banner of ME-WE Productions. She is currently a Senior Tutor (Research) and Fellow in the Sculpture programme at the Royal College of Art.

    She began teaching at the Royal College of Art in 2001, and in 2009 was made a Fellow for her outstanding contribution to teaching. In 2009 she initiated a student exchange between the University of Edinburgh and RCA and was promoted to Senior Tutor in Sculpture in 2014. Davis was instrumental in setting up StudioRCA , an external project space for RCA Fine Art at Riverlight, Nine Elms in partnership with the developers St James and Futurecity.

  • Biography

  • Kate Davis began her teaching career at Brighton School of Art and went on to a post at the Ruskin School of Drawing, University of Oxford . She has taught extensively throughout the UK from Foundation level to MA and has held a number of external examiner posts; John Moores, University of Edinburgh. Norwich School of Art, University of Sunderland, Cardiff School of Art, Byam Shaw , Wimbledon, and University Campus Suffolk. She is currently External Examiner at Northampton University. She was invited onto the Board at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop in 2014.

    Born in Chesham in 1960, Kate completed her foundation studies at Hertfordshire College of Art in 1979 and did her BA at Falmouth School of Art attaining a first class honours in the sculpture department. Her studies continued at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London and she then went on to be the first female Stanley Picker Sculpture Fellow at Kingston University (1986).

    Davis has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the Sydney Water Sculpture Prize, (2002); the first Jerwood Drawing Prize 1st prize (2001); the SARGANT Fellowship, British School at Rome (1998); Young Artist of the Year, Whitechapel Gallery (1989).

    From the beginnings of her studies Davis has always worked across disciplines. Her work moves between material object, drawing, photography, video and text based works. Although she considers her core thinking to be centred in the discipline of sculpture. Central to all the work is a sense of her physical body and events at the edge of consciousness that speak of those moments before and beyond language, and deal with primordial or transformed states of being.

    She draws equally on philosophical concepts and emotional responses, to pay testament to human experience through a formalised, invented language. The work explores mortality, matters of the heart and notions of intimacy often playing on the relationship between measured and experienced time.

    Most works are made in response to a specific location or to a particular event and draw on personal experience, despite her constant attempts to avoid this. Hence there is a personal narrative running along the work’s underbelly, which forms a shadow beneath a more open and speculative interpretation.

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  • Practice

  • In 2007, Kate Davis was invited by Dr Robert Woof to be artist in residence alongside poets at The Wordsworth Trust the centre for British Romanticism where she developed the body of work headhearthole which culminated in an exhibition, a music event and publication.  This established her work as simultaneously addressing the intellectual, the emotional, and the sexual.

    In 2008 she began working collaboratively with the Scottish Artist David Moore and formalised the relationship  in 2010 by establishing ME-WE Productions. They are investigating ideas around authorship and the sacrifice of the ego in the production of collaborative artworks and events. This extends and feeds into both of their teaching practices and the exchange between the RCA sculpture programme and Edinburgh College of Art is a good example of this. Each year this exchange culminates in the on-going exhibition Narratives across Borders : a sculptural dialogue.

    Davis and Moore completed a major commission for the Dockland Light Railway working with Modus Operandi in 2010.

    This permanent installation, sited at Langdon Park Station consists of four artworks; an embedded drawing in the paving that commemorates and celebrates local personalities who campaigned for a new station, a text work running on the underside of the bridge canopy and a sculpture in two parts that run alongside both platforms. All the works are around the theme of belonging which emerged out of a series of community workshops. This led to winning the Water & Light commission at Riverlight, the new St James  residential development by architects Rogers and Stark in Nine Elms. For this they have developed a large narrative work that spans the whole 5 acre site and will be completed in 2017.

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  • External collaborations

  • In 2009 she initiated a student exchange between the University of Edinburgh and RCA and was promoted to Senior Tutor in 2014. Davis was instrumental in setting up StudioRCA, an external project space for RCA Fine Art at Riverlight, Nine Elms in partnership with the developers St James and Futurecity.

    She is currently External examiner at Northampton University and was invited on to the Board of Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop  in 2014 and has undertaken How to be a Board Member Training at Arts and Business, Scotland.

    Selection Panels

    2015  Micro-residencies, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop

    2012  WW SOLO Award, WW Gallery, London

              Deutsche Bank Award, RCA, London

     2010 Unfeasibility Study, Mare Street Biennale, London

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  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Selected Public Speaking

    2016  Looking Down the wrong End of the Telescope, Creative Differences, Dyslexia and Neurodiversity in Science, Art and Design, Royal College of Art & Imperial College

    2015  Why Make, Fruitmarket Gallery  Edinburgh, Panel discussion with Phyllida Barlow , Keith Wilson, Eric Bainbridge and chaired by Jon Woods ,Henry Moore Institute.

    2015  Public Sculpture: From Process to Place, Vitrine Gallery & Pangea Sculpture Centre, London

    2015  Public Art and the Art of Collaboration, Panel, Caneletto Talks, Clerkenwell Design Week

    2013 Constructed with Intention, Panel Discussion chaired by  Luisa Buck, Cornelius Foundation, France 


    Residencies

    2015–16 Double Pelican:  An experiment in Collaboration, StudioRCA ,Riverlight

    2014  Davis & Moore Look Out Tower Aldeburgh

    2013  Constructed with Intention ,Cornelius Foundation, Lagamas, France

    2010–11  Artist residency La Joya- Arte + Ecologica  Los Gasquez, Spain


    Selected Solo Exhibitions

    2016  Twist Something Forcibly, Inaugural Artist for Deal Pier Arts Biennial, Kent

               Double Pelican – an experiment in collaboration StudioRCA, London

    2014  Artist’s House Aldeburgh, (ME-WE)

    2012  Pica Pica, Patio Project 11, WW Gallery

              All that I have (poems & collage), La Joya, Los Gazquez, Spain

    2011  hhh, FRED [London]

    2010  Riff  Kate Davis ,The Russian Club London

    2008  lull FRED [London]


    Selected Group Exhibitions

    2016  Kicking an Elephant Through a Catflap, Royal College of Art

               Allied Antagonists,  Newhailes House, Edinburgh

               Drawing on Drawing, Sculpture Court, University of Edinburgh.

               RCA Secret  London & Dubai

    2015  Death and Dying, Kunstraum, Artenne,Austria

               Death and Dying, Danielle Arnaud, London

               Swedenborg Film Festival Re-launch, Featured artist, Swedenborg Society, London

               Alchemy Film Festival, Hawick, Scotland, Invited Artist

               Drawing Biennial 2015, Drawing Room, London.

               de L’INTIME, Espace En Cours, Paris

               WomanHouse, Studio RCA, London

    2014  Death and Dying, MAG3 Projektraum, Austria

    2013  The Model  Edinburgh University

               Art in the Park, Nottingham

               North South Divine, WW Gallery London & Platform A Gallery, Middlesbrough

              Drawing Biennial 2013, Drawing Room, London (Top Pick)

              Remix: Selections From the International Collage Center, Katonah Museum of Art, NY, USA

    2012  House of Voltaire, Studio Voltaire

              You are Ok? NSDM Shipyard, Amsterdam

              Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London (Alison Wilding)

              Postcards to Japan, Iwate Museum of Art, Fukushima Museum of Art, British Embassy, Tokyo, Japan &           Touring

              Gone Courting, Sculpture Court, Edinburgh

    2011  Swedenborg Short Film Festival, Swedenborg Society, London (Winner of best experimental film.)

               Remix: Selections From the International Collage Center, Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell University, PA

               Tohoku-Scotland, Sculpture Court, Edinburgh College of Art

               40 Artists: 80 Drawings, Burton Art Gallery & Museum ,Devon

              FODO I, II & IV  WAC Gallery, London

              Afternoon Tea, WW Gallery at the 54th Venice Biennale

              Mrs Darling’s Kiss, Arch 402 gallery, London (ME-WE)

               Maelstrom, Arch Gallery,Ramsgate

    2010  Now & Then , Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin

               21, Harewood House, Leeds

               Something Might Happen, The Forgotten Bar, Berlin

              Super8station3 , Arnolfini, Bristol.

              Me-We  Q1 Edinburgh

    2009  Collage London/NewYork,  FRED [London]

              Travelling Light, WW Gallery London  & Venice Biennale

              Con-fig-u-ra-tion, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London

    2008 Failed Love Story basta!- länderspie!  Gutleg 15 Ausstellungsraum, Frankfurt a.m., Germany

            Roman Brain, Mulberry Flagship Store, London


    Selected Press

    Levonian Cole, T. (2013) 'How Developers can benefit from early partnerships with artists', Financial Times Oct 11

    Mark Lawson with Joanne Harris (2010) FRONT ROW (21 at Harewood House), BBC Radio 4

    Verhagen, M (2009) 'Collage London/New York', Art Monthly, Sept 09, 23–24 (illustration)

    Norrie, K. (2008) 'Kate Davis: Lull', Art Monthly, May 08, 32 (illustration)

    Phillipson, H. (2008) 'Kate Davis: Lull', a-n Magazine, May 08


    Selected Solo Publications

    David, K. (2008) headhearthole, London: Wordsworth Trust & Fred [London]


    Selected Group Publications

    Davis, K. and Moore, D. (2016) OrphanedThinking (Part One), London: Provocative Publishing 

    David, K. (2013) Fan of Fans (of Fans), Jour Mal Jour Nal , 2 Zine Project

    Brindley, K. (2013) North South Divine , WW Gallery London & Platform Gallery, Middlesbrough, London: WW Publications 

     Macfarlane, K. (2013) Drawing Biennial 2013, London: Drawing Room Publications

    Zoubok, P. (2013) Remix: Selections From the International Collage Center , Katonah Museum of Art, NY, USA, New York: ICC Publications 

    Moore, D., Thomson, K. and Katagiri, H. (2011) Tohoku- Scotland exhibition catalogue, Ukishima Sculpture Studio

    (2011) Afternoon Tea: Works on Paper, WW Gallery at the 54th VeniceBiennale,  Venice , Italy, London: WW Gallery Publication 

    (2010) A Sculpture Walked into a Bar (Exhibition Guide), The Russian Club & Ian Hunt

    Crewe, J. and Kivland, S. (eds) (2010)THE FRIEND (Transmission: HOST) Kate Davis & Julie Westerman, Lonond: Artwords Press

    Norrie, K. (2009) 'Become: Secret Acts in the Work of Kate Davis', Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, 13, 3, 118–122 


    Performative Lectures

    2015  Beginnings are always Difficult , RCA

    2014  Looking Down the Wrong End of a Telescope, RCA

    2012  The Ego Squared:The Collaborative Process, La Joya, Spain (ME-WE)

    2010  Red Snaps (Mouth), Museum Art Oxford 

                (crossing closing –ladybridge)  Showroom Cinema, University of Sheffield

     2009  Some references to red remembered, conjured or stolen while walking for 28 seconds , Dartmoor Arts, Kunstgewerbeschule, Lucerne, Switzerland, and Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland


    Public Collections

    The British Museum Drawing Collection, British Land, The Cranford Collection ,mima Middlesborough, The National Sculpture Centre, Poland, The Stanley Picker Collection, Campbelltown New City Gallery, Sydney, International Collage Center, Cornelius Foundation Collection, France, ASPEN, London/NewYork, Harewood House


    Commissions

    2016  Twist Something Forcibly, Davis & Moore, ME-WE, Inaugural Artists, Deal Pier Arts, Kent

               First Lines, Oxford Library Commission, Westgate, Oxford, Modus Operandi, Short listed artist

    2011–17 LightHouse, Light & Water Commission, St James & Futurecity, Riverlight,London

    2013 Random 1, Art In Your Park, University Park, Nottingham

    2012 Pica Pica, Patio Projects, 11 WW Gallery, London

    2010 Knew Red, Kendrew Commission, St Johns College, Oxford University, Short listed artist

              EVE, 21, Harewood House, Leeds

    2009  Taking  a line for  a walk with an acrostic poem, Lead Artist, Dartmoor Arts

    2007–10  Belonging Langdon Park Station, Dockland Light Railway Art, Mayor of London & Modus Operandi


    Panel Discussions and Public Speaking

    Davis, K. (2016) 'Looking Down the wrong End of the Telescope', Creative Differences, Dyslexia and Neurodiversity in Science, Art and Design, Royal College of Art & Imperial College

    Davis, K. (2015) 'Fancy, Fell, Find, Why Make' (public roundtable), Fruitmarket, Edinburgh On occasion of solo exhibition by  Phyllida Barlow

    Davis, K. (2015) 'Grand Auto Theft', (invited interlocuter), Public Sculpture: From Process to Place,Vitrine Gallery & Pangea Sculpture Centre, London

    Davis, K. (2015) 'Unintended Collaborations; Embedded Artwork in the City', (public roundtable), Public Realm and the Art of Collaboration, Caneletto Talks, Clerkenwell Design Week, London  

    Davis, K. (2013) 'Cicada Cha Cha Cha, Constructed with Intention' (public discussion and reading), Cornelius Foundation, France


    Other activities

    2016   How to be a Board Member, Training , Arts and Business, Scotland.

    2014  Invited onto Board of Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Edinburgh, Scotland

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  • Awards and Grants

  • Kate Davis has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the RCA Fellowship for Teaching (2009); Sydney Water Sculpture Prize (2002); the first Jerwood Drawing Prize 1st prize (2001); the SARGANT Fellowship, British School at Rome (1998); Young Artist of the Year, Whitechapel Gallery (1989) and she was the Stanley Picker Fellow at Kingston University, (1986).

Selected work

Research

Research interests

Kate Davis's work moves between material object, drawing, photography, video and text based works drawing equally on philosophical concepts and emotional responses, to pay testament to human experience through a formalised, invented language. The work explores mortality, matters of the heart and notions of intimacy often playing on the relationship between measured and experienced time. She also works collaboratively with the Scottish Artist David Moore under the name ME-WE Productions and we are investigating ideas around authorship and the sacrifice of the ego  in the production of collaborative artworks and events.

Research