An Interview with Katherine April Caddy-artist, photographer & founder of Yorkshire Art Journal

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Katherine April Caddy; artist, photographer and founder of Yorkshire Art Journal. As an arts writer, Katherine freelances for several galleries, producing creative and compelling content for their websites, social media and printed materials. Katherine is soon to form a collective with one of her closest friends, Sophie Brown, an artist based in Leeds, UK.

We caught up with her to discuss her current show ‘Breathing into Bloom’ at The White Room in York.

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TSOTA: Why do you make art?
I find the process of creating both exhilarating and therapeutic. It offers me focus aside from daily concerns and stretches my imagination. I love the unpredictability of certain aspects of photography, and, more recently, drawing, sculpting and painting.

TSOTA: Describe your working process.
There are days when I have ideas, so I think these through and try to make them come to life. Often the initial ideas are abandoned, as something more interesting unexpectedly appears – this is what I hope for. The worst thing to do when taking self-portraits, for me, is to start taking photos with no ideas. This usually leads to poor and bland work and over-editing to compensate. Often the photographs that are edited least are the best. If I don’t have ideas or inspiration, it’s best to set the camera aside and do something else!

TSOTA: How do you want people to feel when they encounter your work?
Intrigued and moved.

TSOTA: What is it about photography that makes it the most appropriate medium through which to express your concerns?
Lately I’ve found drawing to be a more immediate and freeing medium for me, though photography is still vital. I love working with light and shadows, as so much can be conveyed through them. Working in photography constantly pushes me to think, to invent, and to form or decipher something new, even when working within the same space. I am beginning a new series exploring the quietude of the Cambridgeshire fens soon and hope to summon up the courage to approach strangers to photograph in the street.

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TSOTA: Within ‘Breathing into Bloom’ the work appears to be a departure from past series or studies such as Aqua, Botanical or Sky. How did it come to fruition?

‘Breathing into Bloom’ is a collection of work that I’ve been gathering since 2009. Over these six years I lived in Cornwall, Cambridgeshire and York, yet much of the work was taken in front of the same three walls. All of the photographs were taken with a digital SLR and shared via Flickr.‘Aqua’, ‘Botanical’ and ‘Sky’ are little series that were taken one summer with disposable cameras. I enjoy using these when out and about. Friends often laugh at the huge clicking noise they make, but I love not being able to see the shots I have taken. I find that when using these cameras I’m more selective about what I choose to photograph, and take more time to frame the subject.

TSOTA: You describe painting as a recent interest. Is there any relationship between this and your photography?

When I go to an art gallery, the paintings are always the objects that fascinate me most, truly drawing me in. I practice painting frequently and it relates to my photography with its soul-searching elements. I still have much to learn about the medium. My recent paintings have explored my memory of walking between my aunty and mother as a child.

TSOTA: Your publication Yorkshire Art Journal appears to be very successful. How did you initiate this?
During my final year of university I was hit by a wave of anxiety. I was falling to sleep one night and thought of the idea of the Journal as a way of capturing the stories of artists working in Yorkshire today, and was compelled to create it. I set up a WordPress and began to review exhibitions and contact local artists for interview, traveling to a range of exhibitions based in York and Leeds. It was an essential distraction from anxiety struggles and university pressures and I am incredibly glad I pursued it. Creating something from nothing is freeing, sparking new feelings and broadening the mind. I very much enjoy engaging with artists and learning about their work and lives. It is the process of learning, documenting and sharing that I am passionate about. I like to feel that I am creating a record of and sharing something that may otherwise go undocumented, untold or unexplored. (I suppose this relates to my photography, too).

It’s wonderful that since its foundation last February, a broad range of brilliant writers and artists have been involved with the publication. I am hugely grateful for this.

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TSOTA: How can people get involved?
I am always looking for new arts writers to join the team. Writers can also submit one-off articles relating to art in Yorkshire via the details on the Yorkshire Art Journal website: www.yorkshireartjournal.com. I recently relocated to Cambridgeshire but the Journal will carry on regardless and is about to take on new projects. This spring we are publishing a digital anthology containing work by an exciting range of artists and writers, relating to the theme ‘Afterglow’.

Katherine April Caddy is based between Cambridge and York ‘Breathing into Bloom’ runs until 2nd May 2015 at The White Room in York. Further information can be found here.

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