In the studio with Kate Brinkworth
Kate Brinkworth in her studio
This week In The Studio, TAG Fine Arts speaks to Kate Brinkworth. Her painstakingly detailed oil paintings use the language of film and photography to create an image which draws the viewer in. In this article, Kate tells us about painting whilst travelling, collaborating with streetwear brands, and takes us on a tour of her artist studio. You can find more of Kate's works here.
When did you first start working with TAG Fine Arts?
My relationship with TAG Fine Arts started many years ago when I was fresh out of university and just back from travelling. I wandered into the Mark Jason Gallery, then on New Bond Street, with a couple of example paintings wrapped in cardboard. I have had a great relationship over the years with Mark and it carried on when he eventually started working with Hobby.
What is your background?
I gained a First in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University in 2000 and have worked full-time as an artist since then. I did some tech work in my early years and now do some university lectures in my spare time.
What inspired you to become an artist?
I never decided to be an artist, I left university knowing that I wanted to work for myself but not in any specific capacity. I continued making art anywhere I could, including whilst I was travelling. I painted on porches, in youth hostels and in the campervan which was home for a year. I used to stop every so often to complete a commission and then post it back home, on-going sales paid for my travels along the way. It became something that I couldn’t put down and it only seemed natural to make it my full-time pursuit.
What inspires your artistic practice?
I guess you would describe my style as Photorealist but I have never really defined myself like that, I work in quite a fluid way, I try to use the language of photography and film to create images rather than create a painting that resembles a photograph.
My main influence has always been film, my early work was all about stills and how narratives are created using a series of images; how camera focal lengths dictate the importance of subject within a shot, and the beauty of lighting and colour.
The themes I reflect on tend to come from films, objects that I find that could be from a still from a film. I like loaded items or locations that are heavy with backstory.
Kate's works often reference the iconic Coca-Cola bottle
Describe what art means to you.
That’s a difficult one, it would be impossible to extract it from my brain and define it as it is so intertwined with my thought process, my life. There isn’t one without the other.
Do you love what you do?
I’m not very sure you would work as an artist if you didn’t love what you do, would you? There’s passion and obsession and long hours and self-scrutiny. The hardest part of my working life so far was the months I had off after I had my daughter. It was tough being out of the studio properly for so long.
Describe your workspace to someone who has never visited it.
My studio is a purpose built one at the bottom of my garden overlooking acres of fields and huge skies. It is pretty messy; cluttered with bottles, dice and everything that makes up my work. Warm, and with a dozing black cat on the comfy chair.
Do you have any routine you follow when you’re creating?
I don’t really have a routine, apart from a couple of cups of tea to get my head sorted, audiobooks to keep me company and a general avoidance of people!
Kate Brinkworth - Coke and Stripey Straw - courtesy of TAG Fine Arts
Do you create your best work independently or when within a community?
I haven’t ever worked in a community, I’m a solitary worker. Not averse to a collaboration but definitely much more at ease on my own.
What is your favourite work of art?
That is a toughie, it would be between a Van Gogh and a Turrell. But, I would like to have Janet Cardiff’s Forty Part Motet as well. Or a Monet!
If you could have dinner with any artist, past or present, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Joseph Bueys, there’s a lot that I would like to ask him! I should actually have mentioned his work Plight as one of my favourite artworks.
A garment from Kate's recent collaboration with Supreme - image courtesy of Supreme New York
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on a lot of commissions, mainly for private collections including Coca-Cola. I have also done a collaboration with Supreme which will be released later this year.