The Rooms of your Home to the Rooms in my Head: Guided Tours with Gurus.
Generator Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Katie Orton. The paintings, sculptures and drawings were created while undertaking the RSA Residency at Hospitalfield House.
‘Public houses, pool halls, churches, living rooms, youth hostels… these spaces are explored from a point of architectural interest, but more importantly I am fascinated by how each place is conducive to certain social conduct and psychological surmise. Freud’s metaphor of the house-as-mind sheds new light in your basement, while Bachelard’s reveries on how life’s significant points are archived on a mantelpiece makes dusting your home an exposé.
The social and psychological implications of designed spaces is what I work with. Using plastic table-cloths, wood effects, faux leather or appropriated depictions of furniture and architecture I illustrate observations drawn from life. These aesthetic anchors become embroiled with my issues (being a woman: cleaner, sister, daughter, artist, best pal, girlfriend and more) and inspirations (mostly men: Bob Dylan, Jean Cocteau, Picasso, Ivor Cutler, El Greco, Albrecht Durer, Talking Heads and others), to become layered images that seek balance while I seek enlightenment. “Up on the white veranda she wears a necktie and a panama hat” sings Dylan. If my mind is a house, the veranda is my aspiration. I’ll don a necktie and a panama hat and take on all the old-boys as they serenade me from below.’
Recent Exhibitions: Young Athenians Goes Home, The First Athens Biennale, Athens; Young Athenians, RSA, Edinburgh; New Work Scotland Programme, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh; Great Artspectations, The Embassy, Edinburgh. Katie Orton is also a director of The Embassy gallery and founder of Zug fanzine. Her work is in the collection of Charles Saatchi and private collectors in London, Berlin and the USA. Orton gained her BA and MFA at Edinburgh College of Art.
Declaring her interest in “the social and psychological implications of designed spaces”, Katie Orton filters this fixation through a look inspired by the heroes of 20th century Modernism. Father figures Picasso and Matisse are slyly domesticated and their motifs lovingly rendered using the materials of handicraft. ‘Internal Affairs’, her solo show at Dundee’s Generator Projects artists’ space, presents a substantial display of work created while undertaking the RSA residency at Hospitalfield House. Large scale paintings depict interiors abstracted with touches of bawdily humourous figuration. One such scene of orgiastic coupling is contained within an angular configuration (Analysing the Polyhedron), while sculptures show subservient females emphasising their elegance (Waitress, Proud Cleaner). Elsewhere we see the interiors of a pool hall and a ‘Design for Mental Health Centre Floor’. Wandering onto the stage set for a Cocteau play, as enacted by a repertory group populated by the local crafts guild, is one way of putting it. There is however only the most assured of touches on display here.
– Ben Robinson