Kate Findlay

I am a teacher and textile artist living in Reading, Berkshire, UK. I teach part time, and devote as much of the rest of my time as possible to making new art work.

I did an art (Textiles) degree at Kidderminster College after a Foundation year at Winchester School of Art. I worked in industry as a surface pattern designer for four years, and then when I was made redundant, retrained as a teacher. I have taught art, and design technology for 20 years in Secondary and Primary schools , and have also taught adult classes and pre-school children too. I left my job as Head of Art at Hugh Faringdon Secondary School when I was expecting my son. I currently teach art part time in a private junior school in Henley on Thames. This has given me time to develop my own work, and although for many years I painted, I have returned to my textiles background and currently use textiles as my main media, producing large art quilts and mixed media pieces which although rooted in the quilt process, push the boundaries of art quilting. I have had a number of solo shows (in painting as well as textiles) as well as mixed group shows over the past 15 years. In 2011 I stepped down as Chairman of Henley Art and Crafts Guild which I have chaired for the last 9 years. I set up the Henley Arts trail in 2006 and have been heavily involved in the running up until this year - 2105, when i finally stepped down as Chairman, although I still show at a venue on the trail. I had a two term sabbatical from my job, from Jan to July 2011, which gave me the opportunity to explore a theme in more depth. For four years from 2008 to 2012 I worked almost exclusivley on the Hadron Collider series, and this is the inspiration for the body of work which was exhibited at a number of venues in 2012. Since then I have gone on to speak about my work to quilt and embroidery groups round the country as well as continuing my own textile work and teaching.

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Artists Statement (Hadron Collider series)

In 2008, I saw a newspaper article about the Large Hadron Collider run by CERN in Switzerland. The images with the article resonated with me, and I started a body of work that I am passionately interested in developing. What I have now achieved is enough work on this theme to have a series of solo shows in 2012. Although I trained in textiles I have only recently come back to it, and I am using textiles now as my principle medium.

My first pieces on this theme were fairly true to some of the images of the LHC, but interpreted through textiles combined with other media. I am now finding that I am combining ideas as my knowledge of quantum mechanics grows, and I am particularly interested in the aspect of scale posed by the machine and what the scientists are trying to discover, as well as the perception of depth on a reasonably two dimensional surface.I love the variety of fabric, and the richness and complexity that can be created with the surface pattern. I find I am continually problem solving, as working with fabric creates a number of specific challenges in relation to the precise, metallic effects I am trying to achieve.

I am interested in the contemporary textiles scene, and belong to a contemporary quilt group. I am pushing the boundaries of what I do, both in terms of scale - making progressively larger works, and technique, where I am revisiting some classic quilt construction techniques to achieve my aims - and combining this with more unusual materials like wire, fibre optics and laminated plastic. What I hope to achieve is a series of spectacular jewel-like wall pieces that draw the viewer in, to linger over the complexity of the surface, and perhaps ponder on the vastness of scale, from the infinite of space, to the infinitesimal of the smallest parts of atoms being studied by the scientists at CERN.

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