Kate V Robertson

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The work of Scottish artist Kate V Robertson is characterised by physical properties, social connotations and aesthetic possibilities of materials that she chooses with special sensitivity. She shows them in their raw form, and she reveals their symbolic essence. If the artist exhibits a “piece of cloth”, the viewers do not only consider merely “this particular cloth” in her interpretation, but textiles in general, and in the same way they think about paper, concrete, stone or glass. Although she builds her subtle – and at the same time monumental – installations literally piece by piece, she paradoxically rather deconstructs the medium of sculpture. 

The artist has conceived her work for the Brno Art Open in accordance with her previous practice. It consists of hand-made concrete paving. Discarded plastic food containers are used as moulds for individual cobbles, the waste being thus transformed into a matrix with unexpected secondary use. (This is, however, not entirely unexpected: we see the same idea materialize in the yards and gardens of certain Czech home improvers.) So far, the author only exhibited this technique in gallery settings. In Brno, for the first time, she transports it into the exterior and places it in direct confrontation with the demands for the functionality of the space. The uneven pavement surface draws the attention of pedestrians and raises questions about the public space and environmental responsibility, making it all the more urgent at a time of massive expansion of environmentally oriented initiatives. The pavement seems to be vulnerable, just like the person walking on it. The artist considers articulated ideas of fragility and instability to be an integral part of every work of art. 

Kate V Robertson’s installation is situated in the area of Moravské Square, specifically in that part of it where ideologically emburdened artworks and buildings were repeatedly erected and removed in the past. It is no coincidence that the artist has chosen this problematic location for a work that reflects our current consumer culture and the unprecedented boom of environmentally minded initiatives, among other things.