Graham Domke Q&A: Katy Dove Exhibition

26 September 2016

Our new exhibition shows the work of Katy Dove (1970-2015), a Scottish artist who created drawings, collages, paintings, prints and animations. We caught up with DCA Exhibitions Curator Graham Domke to find out more about Katy, her work, and how the exhibition came together.

Who was Katy Dove and what can people expect from visiting this exhibition?

Katy Dove (1970 - 2015) was an important figure in the Scottish art scene and this is the largest exhibition to date of her animations, paintings, prints and work on fabric. It hopefully serves as an introduction to, or reminder of, her work to audiences both unfamiliar and already acquainted with her practice. The response in the first few days has been really strong. The main gallery is devoted to Katy’s animations and they are presented on a massive scale. The room is filled with her and her band's music. People really respond to the patterns, rhythms and colours that she used to such great effect in all of her work. We are working in partnership with High Life Highland to enable the exhibition to travel to Inverness, Thurso and Wick in early 2017. Having the exhibition tour from the city in which she studied and emerged as an artist, to the region in which she grew up is a great way to remember a much-loved member of the Scottish art community.

What made you want to show Katy's work in the galleries?

I had the opportunity to work with Katy in 2009 for our 10th anniversary group exhibition The Associates but had been fascinated by her work for a long time before then.

"The exhibition is not a definitive look at her career, more of a primer. There is a lot more to be revealed over time."


I had wanted to work with her on a solo exhibition. Although it has become a different kind of project to work on a show without her, I hope that it does justice to her inspirational work. Katy's work really suits the DCA spaces - the smaller gallery has the intimacy to house the small scale, painted pieces and the animations really pulse in the larger gallery. I wanted our audience to have the opportunity to see as much of her work as possible. New students coming into our city will have the chance to see work by someone who studied here at DJCAD and went on to have a successful career as an artist.

How did you choose which works to show?

I chose bodies of work that are either classic Katy Dove, or are a bit less well known. I have gone as far back as her earliest animation Fantasy Freedom that was part of her 1999 DJCAD graduation show (during which time she worked as an usher in DCA Cinema). Katy worked in so many different mediums and DCA galleries are big enough to showcase quite a lot of her work. I was able to take valuable advice from a couple of her close friends who had collaborated with her. The exhibition is not a definitive look at her career, more of a primer. There is a lot more to be revealed over time.

What do you think it is about Katy's work that attracts people of all ages?

The work is playful and curious. We are often introduced to animation as children by adults who were introduced to animation when they were children. Katy's animations blend hand-drawn with computer editing techniques and whilst they recall some artistic traditions since the late 19th Century, they feel very contemporary. Katy had such a fresh approach to abstract art and I think there is space in her work for interpretation and personal response.

How do the events that are planned to run alongside this exhibition complement the work on show?

Planning events is always exciting as it gives you the chance to expand the concept of the exhibition. Katy Dove was really interested in music and dance so it felt really important to bring elements of these disciplines into the mix. Dance artist Sheila Macdougall was a close collaborator with Katy, and will visit the exhibition on a number of occasions to formulate her response which will be presented in the galleries on 17th November. Stevie Jones and Sound of Yell (Sun 6 November) are a perfect fit for the show. Stevie has played a number of concerts at DCA over the years with the likes of Norman Blake, Bill Wells, Aidan Moffat, Cara Tolmie and Luke Fowler and also as a solo performer. I'd love it if someone reading this felt stimulated to respond to the exhibition - our (((echo))) event on Thu 10 November is a platform event for that to happen. If you are interested in proposing a response to Katy Dove’s exhibition please email by Mon 31 October.

Our Katy Dove exhibition runs until Sun 20 November. The galleries are open daily 10:00 - 18:00 and until 20:00 on a Thursday. Share your photos, videos and thoughts about our exhibition through social media using #KatyDove - we love to hear from you.

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