The Nothing Nothings lr

The Violet Hour : Kate Shooter

That Art Gallery re-opens with The Vio­let Hour’ : new works by Kate Shooter

22/04/21 – 17/05/21
Opening Times
Sun–Mon, Closed
Tue–Sat, 11:00 – 18:00
I lifted the title for this exhibition from a book of the same name by Katie Roiphe. The Violet Hour examines the final days of six great writers, thinkers and artists as they come to terms with their approaching deaths. It may sound grim, but in our time of fear and confinement I found it strangely comforting. And I knew the premise of the book would somehow enter my practice, as great writing often does.

The parallels between the themes in the book and the limbo-like lockdown of our winter were marked. But rather than speak of the utter bleakness of it all, I found my paintings infused with a sort of end of day glow, decaying, but dancing in the face of it all.

Dusky earthy colours interwoven with dirty pastels, and later giving in to a night palette became a shorthand for ‘other place’; not really the afterlife, but more a hovering over some line – the equator between life and death, if you like. A sort of metaphorical desert of intensity, melancholic, but comical too.

Roiphe says “Ancient Egyptians used to read the Book of the Dead to learn practical tips on how to navigate the underworld – like how to not have your head cut off in the underworld, or how to take the form of a crocodile in the underworld, or how to not enter the underworld upside down…”

I don’t have a Book of the Dead, but I feel like these works have operated a little like a tool for dealing with the dark days. So far my head is, just about, intact and I’m working on my crocodile smile.

Kate Shooter, March 2021
The Nothing Nothings lr
Curating Drawing Painting