Sans [ceuticals] | Kate Newby, Artist

Kate Newby, Artist

Kate Newby, Artist

30 - 05 - 24

Kate Newby is a New Zealand artist known for her quiet, poetic and humorous installations that often respond to the conditions of every day life. Sans [ceuticals] spoke with Kate about her own daily rituals and how they inform her art making.

Kate Newby, Artist

Sans Woman

On daily rituals:

I don’t spend a lot of time in the studio making my work. A lot of what I do happens during the installation or exhibition time. So it’s important that I have a lot of time to process thoughts, ideas, possibilities etc.

I make coffee first thing in the morning and this is a great moment of the day for me. I don’t have to talk or do much and I sit on the sofa and have a bit of time to think very clearly about what’s happening. Then the rest of my day is really about what needs to happen and this can range from a lot of activity, to a day in bed!

On nature informing her work and the process of making:

My work feels strongest to me when it’s somehow in conversation with the environment that it exists within. Paying attention to natural elements such as light, wind, rain, and sun form the basis of my work. I also spend a lot of time observing moments around me in my day-to-day existence.

On humour:

I think it’s important not to take myself too seriously and I think humour is a good way to relax in a space and with work. I enjoy myself a huge amount when I’m working and hopefully this comes though in the work itself.

"I’m fascinated with small, seemingly insignificant things that are somehow able to speak to a multitude of things and ways of being."

On the appeal of working with clay:

Working with clay allows me some time to physically work out ideas that I’ve been interested in for quite some time. In the past 5 or 6 years I’ve worked with clay in different forms – from painting bisqueware, to making rocks and sticks, to more recently creating wind chimes and bells. The sets of rocks, often titled around daily experiences and occurrences, are a type of mapping ideas that are about people, feelings, and situations. It has been important for me that I’ve been able to work at home with clay, in a domestic and private space, at any time of day.

On her most re-read books:

Second Avenue by Frank O’Hara. It has some of my most favorite poems by him plus a lot more that I keep discovering. I’ve been reading it for about, yikes, 16 years. I always travel with a copy. It’s a funny, moving, but a thoroughly simple observation of life. I like to remember that it’s possible to see things that way.

Sans Woman Kate Newby Detail

"As my friends will tell you, I’m very fond of taking myself away from things to have naps and sleep. These are also really important moments for me because I get to shut down."

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