Fairy tale works from artist and explorer, Katie Surridge
by Maria Raposo
Sculptor Katie Surridge creates otherworldly works, transforming cattle feeders into chandeliers and animal bones into fairy tale sculptures. From investigating Irish traveler culture to squatting in London, Surridge is an explorer. Feeding her experiences into her art, her works are infused with nomadic sense of freedom.
KOD: Do you immediately see potential in everyday objects?
Katie Surridge: I think it’s essential that artists have the ability to see potential in their chosen material; be it paint or cattle feeders. I rely on visual experiences and chance discoveries to evolve my work. If i come across an object that i relate to in some way, instantly an idea follows.
It's interesting you used the term every day rather than found objects. Importantly, in my work I use both. Those I deliberately source are combined with found objects that come out of nowhere. I also fabricate a lot of my own parts; recently I hand made and fired 1000 hand cut porcelain disks for my work 'Pylon'.
KOD: What’s so exciting about unloved items?
Katie Surridge: There’s something about perfection that I struggle to associate with. I enjoy the imperfections of older objects. I like the fact that they have a history or a story, whether or not we’re aware of it. These objects are on a journey.
KOD: Is your house filled with weird and wonderful things?
Katie Surridge: Yes, one of my favorites is a big board now hung at the top of my stairs that originally covered a window in a derelict house I broke into. In messy writing is painted "keep it simple". I’m trying to focus on this saying in terms of my work at the moment; I want to refine it but keep its essence.
KOD: Can you see a sculpture in your mind’s eye before you make it?
Katie Surridge: Things are usually in my mind quite rigidly before I start. When working with found and everyday objects I think it's important to have control. There's a fine line between order and disorder, between a work of mine and perhaps a pile of old tat. I need to be able to keep focused to finish a work so I usually won't start till I'm sure of it in my mind.
KOD: Would you say there is an element of shamanism in your art?
Katie Surridge: I find that it’s something really hard to talk about without sounding tacky. I do really appreciate shamanic culture: Tribes, outsider groups and all those living on the edge of main stream society are definitely a major interest of mine.
KOD: How does travelling feed into your work?
Katie Surridge: Traveling is my fuel for inspiration. It provides me with structural ideas, new materials, exciting cross cultural references and the chance to collect disowned, often overlooked objects. This process of discovery is integral to my practice.
KOD: What do you hope your audience will take away from your works?
Katie Surridge: I want to intrigue the viewer, I like the idea of providing a visual circus, in fact my work has been related to a cabinet of curiosities before.
KOD: Would you say your art reflects your personality?
Katie Surridge: Surprisingly I’m very organized and clean in the studio and at home. In my work, although there is perhaps a look of disorder and partial random placement, there is actually a lot of order, and many decisions behind a final piece. There’s a kind of calm in the chaos.
KOD: Do you make your sculptures with a specific space in mind or do they mould to wherever they are exhibited?
Katie Surrdige: In general I like a white cube space to exhibit in as it allows the details in the work to be seen. I've tried making installation work out doors and most of these works I've never felt comfortable with. With so much else going on in the natural environment it is hard to compete.
For more information on Katie Surridge's work contact: email@example.com