About20 paintings, excerpts from a year's work make up this exhibition. Meticulous and colourful distillations, each piece is a response to a place Kate Bland has stopped to study and draw.
Inspired by the world around her and its architecture, there is a curiosity about the places people inhabit, private lives concealed behind windows, front doors and shutters.
It is this act of looking, discovery and escape that informs Kate's installation at The Proud Archivist. Occupying a shelved mezzanine level above the busy tables on the ground floor, it is a space for conversation and an archive for books, an area people can retreat for quiet, work or to watch the world go by along the canal.
Rather than a traditional hang, each painting is accommodated within its own bespoke gallery space, a hand-crafted wooden box, illuminated from within, complete with a spy-hole through which visitors can look. The boxes sit comfortably amidst the shelves, gently emitting light and beckoning the inquisitive onlooker to engage in a playful act of hide-and-seek.
Through each opening the eye contains a secret room, a tranquil space that both conceals the painting to outsiders and reveals it to those who look within. The boxes create a pocket in time, for a few moments stripping away the clutter and distraction of everyday, allowing for an intimate dialogue between viewer and the work.
Since completing a degree in Fine Art, Kate Bland has combined her career as an artist with a busy job working as a book publicist. She has exhibited regularly on the Isle of Wight, illustrated books and creates digital collages of houses, buildings and streets around London. She loves her job in publishing, the variety and creativity of the industry providing a constant source of inspiration through books, people and places.
Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing and the Vintage Books division at Penguin Random House for helping to fill the shelves of the archive space.
Artists: Kate Bland