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Kate V Robertson

This Mess is Kept Afloat

Kate V Robertson’s first solo exhibition in a UK institution presents a major installation of new sculptural work that draws our attention not only to the walls, but to the floor, ceiling and windows of our most expansive gallery space at DCA.

Robertson is known for creating environments and displays that often transform and shift over time. Rigorously exploring her chosen materials and the ways in which they can change, Robertson revels in the physical characteristics of the objects she creates, testing their structural qualities to their limits and uncovering what lies at their material core. Ideas of instability, dysfunction, waste and decay pervade her work, particularly in relation to how we experience these sensations in urban environments.

In this new body of work Robertson focuses on the use of rectangular shapes across different surfaces, playing with the appearance of depth often created by optical illusions and geometric designs. These formal concepts hint at patterns and configurations associated with city spaces, while also specifically referencing the flatness and groundlessness of our increasingly screen-based lives.

This Mess is Kept Afloat thoughtfully disrupts the ways in which we engage with sculpture, deliberately muddying the waters of the pristine white cube gallery by drawing in and amplifying certain aspects of the outside world. Robertson deftly combines ideas of the external and internal in this exhibition to create a conceptually intricate and sensually rich experience for anyone willing to cross the threshold.

Please be careful when moving around the space as some surfaces within the installation may be uneven. Please do not walk on the work in stiletto or pointed heels.

About the artist:

Kate V Robertson (b. 1980, Edinburgh) is based in Glasgow, having studied at Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 2003 and completing a MFA there in 2009. Recent exhibitions of her work and projects include: Object(hood), Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh 2017; Semper Vigilantes, OBJECT / A, Manchester 2016; Semper Solum, Oxford House, as part of Glasgow International 2016;  Adaptive Expectations, BALTIC 39, Newcastle, 2016; In Progress, Patricia Fleming Projects, 2014. She has participated in residencies at Hospitalfield, Arbroath; Eastside Projects, Birmingham; CCA, Glasgow; and Chateau de Sacy, France. She is represented by Patricia Fleming Projects, Glasgow.

Robertson has also undertaken several public art commissions, including converse for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and a forthcoming permanent work in Peterhead. After co-curating and designing the exhibition Reclaimed: the Second Life of Sculpture, for Glasgow International 2014, she is currently researching new models of commissioning and collecting sculpture, funded by Henry Moore Foundation.

This Mess is Kept Afloat is supported by Outset.