Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Upended Traditions – Kate Downie

17th June 2023 at 10:00am 18th June 2023 at 4:00am

Upended Traditions (a zero-waste workshop) 

Artist Kate Downie will be leading an experimental, materials-based workshop over 2 days using the flatlands of the Howe of Fife as the bowl of inspiration. 

“I will be encouraging fresh uses of old art materials which may have laid dormant on studio shelves over many years- old varnishes, ends of paint tubes, mediums, powders and pastels, papers, old paintings- using whatever participants bring/found we will upend the traditional forms of use to create a new, ‘broken and reformed’ way of looking at the landscape. 

Get to grips with different substrates, understand the basics like gesso-making, paper soaking, embedding and collaging and dipping. Be minimalist or maximal, but stretch your boundaries to find new forms of describing the shape of the land around you”

Open to all: a mix of everyone from art beginners to advanced practitioners.

£120 (plus Eventbrite fee) for 2 day course. Click here to book a place with Eventbrite

Photograph by Alicia Bruce

A bit about Kate Downie


 “Ever since living in Paris in the late 80’s, I have been exploring the concept of ‘La Place’: a point in the land where many roads meet. One of my creative concerns is to define these spaces between in both urban and rural settings. The object lesson for me is the witnessing and the drawing of these non-places which are also, by definition, public arenas of cumulative activity. My job as an artist is to accommodate these actions in our contemporary lives, and to find the poetry within.”

Kate Downie was born in North Carolina but raised from the age of 7 in Scotland. She studied at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen before travel and residencies took her to the United States, England, Amsterdam, Paris and Japan and Norway

As a Landscape painter/printmaker she studies the relationship of the human co-existence/dissonance within nature, often defined by good draughtsmanship and a sense of movement. Downie has established studios in places as diverse as a brewery, a maternity hospital, an oil rig and an island underneath the Forth Rail Bridge. She has taught both in art colleges and universities and has directed major public and community art projects since 1987.

As President to the Society of Scottish Artist from 2004 to 2006, Downie co-curated contemporary visual art projects of international standing, including an exchange exhibition with Indian artists and the Bodyparts live art Festival at the RSA in Edinburgh. Her work appears in many public and corporate collections including the BBC; Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art; Gracefield Art Gallery, Dumfries; Aberdeen Art Gallery; Rietveld Kunst Academie, Amsterdam; City of Edinburgh Council; HM The Queen; Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow & New Hall College Art Collection in Cambridge. In 2005 the artist was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize, and in 2008 became a member of the Royal Scottish Academy.

Like the Scottish Artists Joan Eardley and DY Cameron in the last century, Downie has spent the past 30 years exploring an artistic vision for both the extremes of a Scottish urban/industrial landscape as well as Scotland’s coastal ‘edge-scapes’ beyond the cities. Downie re-located to Fife in 2018, establishing Birchtree Studios in 2019, which has since become a hub for creative collaborations both locally and internationally.

March 2023

Upper Flat, Ladybank Station House, Victoria Street
Ladybank, Fife KY15 7JT United Kingdom
View Venue Website