School of Arts & Humanities
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.
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.Show more
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.
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.Show more
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.
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.Show more
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.
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
Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes
Selected Public SpeakingShow more
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
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
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
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
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
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
2016 How to be a Board Member, Training , Arts and Business, Scotland.
2014 Invited onto Board of Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Edinburgh, Scotland
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).
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.