Katharine West moved to Dalkey, Co, Dublin in 1967 and grew up between the East and West Coasts of Ireland. She studied Ceramics at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and the School of Decorative Arts, Strasbourg, France. In 1988, she travelled to New York State as a Fulbright Scholar where she completed her MFA Degree at Alfred University in 1990. She lectures in Ceramics at the Centre for Creative Arts and Media at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and makes work from her studio in Roscahill, Co. Galway. Katharine is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics.
Central to Katharine’s work are phenomena associated with nature: landscape, seascape and the human body. Our collective past and memory is exploited in her work through archetypal form and its connection with artefact, object, process, function and material. Her work is made in series. Each series continues to exploit established concerns in the work such as the resonance of the object, its matter, its fluidity and the tension between its internal space and external form, within the context of the malleability of the material itself; clay. The objects play with space, light, form and illusion. They contain air and question the solidity of the object itself.
The notion of the ‘Lacuna’ as an internal space, void or suspended link is played with through a series of pieces called ‘Earthed’ ‘Suspended’ and ‘Extended Matter’. ‘Extended Matter’ explores the concept of the folds or pleats of matter and how they relate to the void, suspending and stretching the clay to connect with physical possibilities which become almost geological in nature.