Kate collins

5 min läsning

review by Heidi Askey ©2023

Kate Collins’ work is often centred around childhood – she depicts milestones in a child’s life, interests they may pursue, and attitudes they may possess, with a naïve hand that could perhaps be described as childlike itself, adding to the nostalgic feel of her pieces. The colours are quite dramatised, like the way in which they are experienced in a memory; bright watercolours for flowers and woodland, and dark, swirling pen for caves and clouds. Her work encourages the observer to reminisce, and to appreciate the experience of childhood and the aspects of life that adults have grown to lack acknowledgment for.

Brothers & Sisters

Kate’s pieces Brothers and Sisters strike interest in particular for me, as the traits of the four children and the way in which they are captured are quite unusual. Their frames are clearly that of children, but their faces appear somewhat aged and adult-like, such as their large features and dark eyes. They are poised in a way that is purposeful and strategic, as if they are imitating a natural pose. Their hair floats around their heads, suggesting that the image was captured in an instant between movement, and they are stranded in a whirlwind of sprawling pen. This gives them an air of knowledge and experience beyond their years – they appear without the guidance of parents, in an environment that is confusing and dark. This perhaps represents the uncertainty and anxiety that the new can bring during childhood, especially when those that are knowledgeable are not present. However, there is solace in the fact that they are together as siblings. The older sister leans over the younger in the protective manner, and the older brother puts his arm around the younger.

The pieces are then perhaps a display of the importance of companionship among children, and the building of knowledge in their shared experience of the world. They possess a shared sense of the novelty of life that adults often do not; for instance the fear of the unknown shown in the swirls of the landscape behind them, and even the difficulty of being physically small, as the two boys are when compared with the tree branches they each hold. These are things that adults have learned with time, and that in a sense cannot be taught – it is simply getting used to the world around you and developing physically that brings this knowledge and lessens this fear. The siblings are able to grow through this together, and Kate depicts this relationship in an intriguing and emotional manner.

Babies & Birds

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