Five questions to Katie Battersby

Five questions to Katie Battersby

Katie Battersby (born 1973) is an artist based in Auckland, New Zealand. Her background is a graduate of Elam School of Fine Arts, an art and art history teacher, and the founder of a clothing label. Her practice is informed by nature, pattern making, textile design and the physicality of painting itself. Her work explores a visual language combining compositional structure, serendipity and chance. Fluidity is central to her enquiry, presenting, revealing obscuring and transitioning between layers, forms and states.

How did you get into art?

I have spent a lifetime engaged in the continuum of making and thinking about making of one kind or another. For me making art is a journey of discovery without a final destination in mind, except the will to turn up every day to do it. Prior to this I made clothes, had children, taught art and originally trained as a sculptor when I attended art school.



How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?

I’m interested in both the botanical and the biological. Beyond any representational starting points the work spans a broad spectrum of abstraction from minimal, spartan compositions more like Japanese Ikebana – to more maximal works which are arrived at through a process of erasure and rebuilding over time – the composition above all becomes the record of the process itself.

How do you go about developing your work?

My approach reflects nature and the cycle of growth, maturing and decay. Each state is a broad visual spectrum. The works based on a continuum of experimentation, of mark marking, of traditional and non-traditional techniques. Silhouettes have been a building block and starting point, over the course of a work I use repetition of motifs in different ways – overlapping, intersecting, composing and dissolving.

Who or what influences you?

My garden and what I grow is a continuous source of inspiration. My enquiry is based on my own view of the world, its influenced by the seasons, the garden my studio is in and what I’m growing, harvesting, eating and composting. Having said that I wouldn’t characterise myself as a painter of gardens – but a painter of parts of things – that become something else.

Make us curious. What is planned next?

After 4 years in the studio I am planning to exhibit more regularly.