I have always been fascinated by stories, devouring books as a young child, writing tales of my own and evolving as I grew up into a deep love of film, combining the two elements I thrive on the most: imagery and narrative.
In the third year of university I started to look in depth at the construction of a film: how do images go together to form a cohesive plot, which elements or scenes are crucial to this? How do light, shadow, camera angle, focus, objects and location play a part in intriguing and capturing your imagination, enabling the viewer to pick up on the essence of an idea and sparking off their imagination so they themselves bring something to the viewing experience.
I originally used film scenes to look into this but soon wanted to set up my own stills, engage in my own ideas. I began to collect objects that would enable me to do this, dice, insects, cameras, letters, papers, anything I could find that had a sense of intrigue about it. I then played around with setting up small still lifes, lighting them differently, changing the focal point to emphasise a certain item and then working these into paintings. I became more involved in the process of this, enjoying the translation of light into paint, the properties of pigments and the challenge of photorealism. The fact that I can get more detail into a painting than I can from a photograph, I can enhance and play around with oversaturated colour and light. The vivid colour of the chosen objects reflecting the nature of their temptation and their glossy, sleek appeal. The dice open up questions of fate, chance and the curveball effect and perhaps these objects drew me to them by the very fact that they are caught up in forces larger than themselves.
This lead me to look into these areas but I have constantly thought about how to reintroduce the narrative, how to bring a character back in, reflecting my view that your ideas are a constant theme, looping and milling around your head until they find their way out over time through different avenues. I listen to audiobooks as I paint, watch films as I draw in the evenings and make endless notes from these two sources to feed my thought process.
I began to bring the story more to the forefront with the use of black and white imagery, stripping away colour, leaving objects or locations as the central element but at the same time introducing a person. Who is the character behind the card game? Who is ‘The Thinker’ exploring the material world under a magnifying glass? Who wrote the letter? Or as the image is often a point-of-view shot, is it actually you the viewer?
Although these two elements to my work feel as though they are to some extent different, it is this uncertainty, this unknown result that I am trying to convey. I thrive on the thrill of what is to come, which is lucky really as an artist’s job is as unpredictable as it is exciting. I couldn’t begin to say how my work will change over time but just know and look forward to the fact that it will.
Written by Will Thorburn for the catalogue accompanying Kate’s solo exhibition with Alon Zakaim Fine Art
‘Brinkworth presents a series of compelling photorealist paintings which reach to the heart of the glamour and seductive appeal of vice, invoking images of shared temptation and the thrill of a risk. Brinkworth’s meticulous, highly detailed compositions draw on the language of photography to create glossy, sleek images which capture the allure of the iconic images she represents. Her bright, larger than life canvases draw us into a world of entertainment and desire, inviting us to revel in the vivid symbols of temptation that Brinkworth presents. While many of the paintings explore Brinkworth’s interest in the oversaturated colours of the gambling table, others open up new avenues for the artist by exploring other iconic imagery of our time. By transforming the photographic imagery of commercial products into unique, painstakingly executed oil paintings, she undermines the language of advertising, and transforms the mass-produced, machine made objects so familiar to us into unique and original works of art. Kate Brinkworth has exhibited widely throughout the UK and North America since 2001. Stemming from a curiosity in the effects of photography, her colourful still lifes are portrayed in varying degrees of focus. Working with an accomplished hand and a precise technique, Brinkworth skilfully deceives our perception in each of her playful scenes.’
30 Cork Street London W1S 3NG
2000 Nottingham Trent University, BA (Hons) Fine Art, First Class Honours
Lecturer for Winsor and Newton on colour & pigment at various universities