A Year of Drawings. Walking the Line: interview with Kathryn Maple

Kathryn Maple (b. 1989, Canterbury) is an artist specialising in drawing and painting. Her large-scale paintings feature urban, suburban and rural landscapes which are frequently populated by human figures. Her work is distinctive for its use of intensely layered mark making, lending the work both urgency and intimacy. The places and people depicted, rendered in a range of materials, are frequently afforded a sense of wildness or mystery by dint of their colour palette, collage-like compositions and recurring motifs such as wind-blown trees and winding pathways. This, her first monograph, includes the presentation of her recent major series of oil pastel on paper works ‘A Year of Drawings’, alongside her mixed media works on paper and large oils on canvas.

An essay by Kathryn Lloyd, writer, artist and Contemporary Art Editor at The Burlington Magazine, offers insight into Maple’s impulse to explore the world around her. Large-scale paintings are constructed by means of personal encounter, memory and imagination. Lloyd brings out the symbolism of Maple’s work, making art historical comparisons while connecting these to the specific local characteristics of Maple’s familiar South London landscapes and the importance of walking to the artist’s practice.

An interview with independent curator and critic Anneka French is focused on ‘A Year of Drawings’, a series of 365 drawings made daily since January 2022 outside the artist’s studio. They discuss the process, materials and art historical and literary influences upon Maple’s work, with a focus on how her drawing and painting strands impact each other. Taking its title from the lyrics of The Cure’s A Forest (1980), Editor Matt Price’s essay ‘Into the Trees’ offers an introduction to ‘A Year of Drawings’, discussing examples of the works and considering aspects of the series ranging from art historical precedents to themes, recurring motifs and interpretation. The monograph is published to coincide with the exhibitions: Under a Hot Sun, by Kathryn Maple, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 11 February – 30 April 2023 and Kathryn Maple: A Year of Drawings, Lyndsey Ingram Gallery, London, 1–17 March 2023.

Kathryn Maple was born in 1989 and lives and works in South London. She graduated in 2011 from the University of Brighton, before undertaking the postgraduate programme The Drawing Year at the Royal Drawing School in 2012–13. Maple has featured in exhibitions at venues including Barber & Lopes at the British Art Fair, London, The Royal Academy, London, Beers London, Messums Wiltshire, Flowers Gallery, London, Frestonian Gallery, London, Christies New York, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London, and Drawing Room, London. Maple was the winner of the Times Watercolour Competition 2014 and 2016, and The John Moores Painting Prize 2020.

Published by Anomie, 2023.
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