Ritual forms and transformations

Kate Southworth makes paintings, drawings, prints and rituals as a way of understanding the transformative energies and unseen patterns of the psyche. Her work experiments with a ‘scattered form’ in which several visible and invisible fragments co-exist. Recent work maps her journeys into the unconscious mind revealing geometric and net-like forms. She has a particular interested in how processes of transformation emerge in the symbolic sphere: the hexagrams of the i-ching, alchemy, yoga traditions, calendric practices, and myths.

The work that I make is scattered and fragile in form; made up of several fragments. Aspects of the work, such as telepathic moments, healing herbs, and magic potions are provisional and fleeting; glimpses of otherness alongside dominant systems of control. As life-denying and rationalising systems threaten to overwhelm the everyday, I search for strategies of resistance. Ritual forms emerge that perhaps echo, perhaps challenge, ancient myths of transformation and transgression. Patterns, shapes, energies, intuitions and connections emerge from the psyche and into paintings, drawings and prints. Sometimes clusters of almost-geometric symbols appear, and at other times, net-like maps.

Igniting the Pulse is a series of annotated giclée prints that trace aspects of alchemical transformation onto ancient calendric practices. Each print is aligned with one of the eight festivals that make up the Celtic calender. The calender is made up of four ancient cross quarter days – Samhain, Imbolg, Bealtaine and Lughnasadh, interspersed with the Winter solstice, Spring equinox, Summer solstice and Autumn equinox. This body of work, like the Celtic wheel, marks the dynamic relationship between dusk, darkness, dawn and lightness; between the birth of summer, the death and decay of winter and the fertility and rebirth of spring. Death is not literal but symbolises a withdrawal inwards to the innermost reaches of the psyche: a necessary part of renewal. Fertility points to the manifestation of our creativity in whatever form it emerges. The journey along this path isn’t linear; we move between phases in a way that feels right for us at the time.

Vera’s Mountain, 2019. Hand embellished giclée print on bamboo paper. Variable edition of 10.

 

Darkness and Renewal, 2019. Hand embellished giclée print on bamboo paper. Variable edition of 10.

 

Bridie’s Mantle, 2019. Hand embellished giclée print on bamboo paper. Variable edition of 10.

 

Untamed Maeve 2019. Hand embellished giclée print on bamboo paper. Variable edition of 10.

 

Áine’s Love, 2019. Hand embellished giclée print on bamboo paper. Variable edition of 10.

 

Sorrows of the Soil, 2019. Hand embellished giclée print on bamboo paper. Variable edition of 10.

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Slow Encounters is a series of drawings in which fragments seep around diagrammatic nets; dissolving and emerging in mutual transformation with each other.

Making Fragile, 2020. Pencil on Graph Paper. 54cm x 54cm

 

Seeping Beneath, 2020. Pencil on Graph Paper. 54cm x 54cm

 

Subduing, 2020. Pencil on Graph Paper. 54cm x 54cm

 

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www.katesouthworth.art

All images copyright and courtesy of Kate Southworth

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