Tuesday, 10 May 2011


At the launch of Southlight 8 recently, I met Kate Foster, a Borders artist.  Southlight 8 (poetry, prose, literary interview and illustration, published in Dumfries & Galloway http://www.dgarts.co.uk/349/literature/southlight/) contains a double page spread of Kate's work.  What with all the lambs hopping around at home, I'm drawn back to take another look at Kate's work.

I find it both delicate and hard.  The soft shades of her pastel drawings are certainly reminicent of wool, but also of mud, and the grey and green landscape.  Her lines are lean, and there's an awareness of skeleton, the boniness of a sheep's face.
She's exploring the many ways sheep make marks on the landscape.  They make their own landuse, in a mirror of our own.  They follow contours, favour certain slopes, sleep at the foot of particular dykes.  I notice ours move around according to time of day.  This is a very predictable pattern, but they vary it to take shelter from bad weather. The routines and the paths are learnt by the lambs at their mothers' tails, and passed on along the generations.
Find Kate Foster's work at http://inthepresenttense.net/, I recommend it.

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