AboutKovats's practice encompasses sculpture, installation and large-scale time-based projects exploring our experience and understanding of landscape. She is best known for Tree (2009), a permanent installation for the Natural History Museum; and Rivers, a, large-scale sculpture in the landscape of Jupiter Artland outside Edinburgh, and this new exhibition focuses on her fascination with the sea.
A highlight of the exhibition is All the Sea, an ambitious new work which presents water from all the world's seas, collected by the artist with the help of a global network of people drawn in by the poetry of the idea of bringing all the waters of the world to one place. Bottles of seawater have been arriving at The Fruitmarket Gallery and at the artist's studio from all over the world since late 2012, and the network of connections that the piece represents has grown week by week.
All the Sea is joined by new and existing work all of which have to do in some way with the sea. Sculptures referencing cliff formations; a machine that mimics the formation of mountains; a new sculpture in the form of a reef of proliferating barnacles; a re-orientation of the world in favour of the ocean drawn on a collection of obsolete atlases; a work exploring what happens when two or more seas meet and a selection of drawings of and with seawater combine in an evocative presentation of the impact of the sea.
Drawing both her own and other people's - is a key part of Kovats' practice. In 2007, she wrote The Drawing Book (Black Dog, 2007), and she has long been interested what drawing can do. For Oceans, she has made a new book, Drawing Water. Believing that drawing is a mechanism for exploration as much as a tool for representation, Kovats brings together in the book drawings by map-makers, writers, shipbuilders, whalers, soldiers, sailors, artists, archaeologists, cartographers, scientists, uranographers, engineers and dreamers a diverse selection united by the sense that in making the drawing they were looking for something. A selection of Kovats's own drawing and writing anchors the book which attempts to construct, in the artist's words, âa portolan, a chart drawn at sea to guide a sailor from one safe harbour to the next'.