Late in 2015 Suffolk artist Kate Batchelor, renowned for her artworks depicting the fragile coastal landscape of East Anglia, its wildlife and man’s influence upon it, set herself the challenge of producing a sketch a day.
As Kate explains;
‘Whilst drinking a glass of wine and thinking about New Year’s resolutions the idea of doing a sketch a day throughout 2016 came into my mind. I have always loved drawing and at college and University we were encouraged to keep sketchbooks, which are an integral part of an artist’s development - a place where you evolve ideas for your future art practice’.
Kate’s project, which went on to fill some 10 sketchbooks and used 162 pencils, will be exhibited from the 12th August to the 3rd September 2017. The show will take place across two spaces; the Annex Gallery at Riverside Art & Glass, and a brand new Lower Ground Gallery at Gallery in the Lanes in Norwich. Both galleries are thrilled to be exhibiting this staggering body of work. As Louisa Milsome, Gallery Manager, says;
‘Seeing an artist sketch unlocks the mysterious process of how an artwork is created. By having access to the sketchbook, we look at the world through the artist’s eyes and see that not only is sketching an integral part of the creative process, but the sketch itself is an artwork in its own right.’
Kate describes that her project was not without its challenges as ‘it was quite hard initially to keep up the sketchbook as my normal working life as an artist was continuing as usual. The cold days when you could hardly hold a pencil or windy days when your sketchbook was blown around or you just couldn’t stand up were certainly challenging’. However, Kate set herself a rhythm and it became a normal but somewhat challenging part of her daily life. A third of the way through Mike Liggin’s came and filmed Kate’s project at RSPB Minsmere where Kate volunteers, ‘and then I knew it was very real as it was announced on BBC Look East and I definitely couldn’t stop!’
The gentle way in which Kate notices and sketches her surroundings is an approach worth celebrating, and it isn’t surprising that Kate Batchelor’s mindful approach to her own artwork over the last year has received so much attention. Both Riverside Art & Glass and Gallery in the Lanes are pleased to be able to display Kate’s project and proudly invite you to travel with Kate Batchelor through her year of daily sketching and experience some beautiful local scenes, captured simply with pencil on paper.