6 May- 7 June 2006
Place, history and how the past impacts upon the present are the core themes of Catherine Bertola’s artistic practice. Previous works have responded to the architecture and history of a setting through installations that subtly intervene with the space, implying other narratives beyond the surface. Often working with materials such as dust and wallpaper, she creates intricate pieces that detail the personal and intimate, the domestic.
For some time the artist has been fascinated by lace as object and status symbol, its manufacture and associations with women’s social history. For Prickings, Catherine has collaborated with curator Frances Lord, Fabrica, Nottingham Castle Museum and The Bowes Museum to explore lace in the context of the social, political and cultural histories of each gallery site.
Her research for Fabrica has centred on the images and histories of notable Victorian women associated with Brighton & Hove. Her installation draws together these preoccupations into a series of delicate, yet penetrating ‘portraits’, based on 19th Century female clothing and accessories.
Catherine Bertola is based in Newcastle. Fine art trained, she also has a reputation within the applied arts field (for instance she has exhibited at the Crafts Council Gallery in Pattern Crazy) and works from a materials-based, process-led starting point. Although relatively young she has achieved early recognition and has worked across a variety site-specific contexts.
Catherine’s work can be unnerving as it undermines the idealisation of the everyday to reveal the dark side of the fairytale. Often working with site-found materials, several of her pieces have been completely reliant on the fabric of the space they were made for.