October 28th, 2023Artists of the Central Highlands…
with Eve Lamb
Clunes-based artist Kate Edwards is especially renowned for her personality-packed ceramic pieces. Her talents have seen her work selected multiple times among the finalists in the Clunes Ceramics Award. Kate shares her passion for art by teaching at a local secondary college and her work has won this talented local creative plenty of fans who love the joyful nature of her original creations.
Eve: Hi Kate, How should we best describe your artistic style? Does it fit into a particular arts genre?
Kate: I love the elemental process of ceramics but also bright colours and patterns. My ceramic sculptures and mosaics reflect this. Last year I returned to study to support my daughter and started painting as well.
Eve: How did you come to art?
Kate: As a child of the 1970s growing up in the outer east of Melbourne, handcrafting was very popular. My mother sometimes wove the fabric to make my clothes and I was a dab hand at macramé. Childhood mud pies developed into pottery and then into ceramic sculpture.
Eve: How did you nurture your innate arts talent?
Kate: I originally moved to the Central Highlands to complete my degree in visual art, but I keep the learning alive by attending master classes and workshops with visiting artists quite regularly.
Eve: Where do you do most of your art work?
Kate: I am presently between studio spaces completing work where and when I can. My dining table at my home in Clunes hasn’t seen many meals lately as it currently hosts all my latest artistic endeavours.
Eve: Which artists have influenced your work?
Kate: So many, from Etruscan and Aztec ceramics, through folk art and modern painters. I’m a bit of a magpie really, picking up shiny ideas from everywhere and weaving them into my art.
Eve: Are there any other factors that have influenced your practice?
Kate: I do love travel. Trying to stand in the same spot Van Gogh painted a scene in Arles helps me link in with artists through time. Collecting souvenirs that inspire me with exotic designs and colours; although I wouldn’t recommend loading up your suitcase with Moroccan plates and dragging it through the Paris Metro. Gardening is another major obsession of mine.
Eve: What is your media of choice?
Kate: Ceramics is my first love, and mosaics, but sometimes it is fun to just draw and paint.
Eve: What is your subject matter of choice?
Kate: Ask anyone and they will say “cats, birds and foliage”. I did try to delve into more deep and meaningful themes at university but I had to admit it wasn’t me. Why cats, birds and foliage? Because they give me joy.
Eve: Have you ever worked in any other areas?
Kate: My mother was a teacher and I was adamant that life wasn’t for me but after attempts at being a radiographer and several public service positions I found my calling as an arts educator.
Eve: What are you working on at the moment?
Kate: Just for fun, I am currently painting in gouache a series of angels in the style of gilded Byzantine icons, with cat’s faces, of course.
Eve: What work, goals or projects do you have in mind for the future?
Kate: In my ideal world I would build the perfect studio and spend half my time making and selling art and the other half travelling the world, but between work and my responsibilities caring for my mother and my children I have so little time and money. Hopefully I will get closer to my dream in retirement.
Eve: To date, what have been your career highlights as an artist?
Kate: I have had work selected in the Clunes Ceramics Award three times. It’s such a privilege to see my work displayed beside the work of famous ceramicists.
Eve: Do you have any exhibitions or special arts events coming up that you would like to let others know about?
Kate: I am hoping to attend the exhibition “Picture This” at the Possum Gully Art Gallery in Adelaide Lead on the Melbourne Cup weekend.
Eve: What would you rate as the biggest challenges in being a professional working artist today?
Kate: For me I would say “finding headspace”.
Eve: And, for you what are the greatest rewards?
Kate: Taking a piece of earth and creating something never seen before.