Outset Scotland is proud to have supported This Mess is Kept Afloat, Kate V Robertson’s first solo exhibition in a UK institution.
Robertson is known for creating environments and displays that often transform and shift over time. Rigorously exploring her chosen materials and the ways in which they can change, Robertson revels in the physical characteristics of the objects she creates, testing their structural qualities to their limits and uncovering what lies at their material core. Ideas of instability, dysfunction, waste and decay pervade her work, particularly in relation to how we experience these sensations in urban environments.
In this new body of work Robertson focuses on the use of rectangular shapes across different surfaces, playing with the appearance of depth often created by optical illusions and geometric designs. These formal concepts hint at patterns and configurations associated with city spaces, while also specifically referencing the flatness and groundlessness of our increasingly screen-based lives.
All of the objects created for this exhibition were moulded, cast, constructed, or ground down by hand; allowing substances such as concrete, rubber, metal, polystyrene, resin, paper and eggshell to manifest in new and unexpected ways. Exploring the sculptural and sensory possibilities contained within her carefully chosen materials, Robertson invites visitors not only to look but to touch, feel, smell and perhaps even contribute to the destruction of some of these artworks.
Kate V Robertson (b. 1980, Edinburgh) is based in Glasgow, having studied at Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 2003 and completing a MFA there in 2009. Recent exhibitions of her work and projects include: Object(hood), Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh 2017; Semper Vigilantes, OBJECT / A, Manchester 2016; Semper Solum, Oxford House, as part of Glasgow International 2016; Adaptive Expectations, BALTIC 39, Newcastle, 2016; In Progress, Patricia Fleming Projects, 2014. She has participated in residencies at Hospitalfield, Arbroath; Eastside Projects, Birmingham; CCA, Glasgow; and Chateau de Sacy, France. She is represented by Patricia Fleming Projects, Glasgow.
Robertson has also undertaken several public art commissions, including converse for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. After co-curating and designing the exhibition Reclaimed: the Second Life of Sculpture, for Glasgow International 2014, she is currently researching new models of commissioning and collecting sculpture, funded by the Henry Moore Foundation.
Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) is an internationally renowned centre for contemporary art that enables audiences, artists and participants to see, experience and create. With two beautiful large-scale gallery spaces, two thriving cinema screens, a busy print studio, an award-winning learning programme, and a packed programme of events, workshops, classes and activities aimed at all ages and abilities, DCA is one of the most successful arts organisations in the UK.