Kate is an abbreviated version of the Greek girl’s name Katherine and means ‘pure’.  There are a lot of Kate’s in my world currently and they’re all artists.  Let me explain a few of them to you. 

Each month, I have a repeat textiles commission with Kate Titley whom you can read about in the previous journal post on here as she’s celebrating forty years in business with the fabric house Titley and Marr which she and her late husband Ken formed together. 

Last month, I liaised with Kate Box, assistant to sculptor Alison Crowther, to book in Open Day photography at her nearby Nyewood workshop.  This is an annual event and full of wonderful creative people and their energy. 

Last month was was also when we scheduled some photography for Kate Hanrahan.  We’re up to three Kate’s now, I’m counting.  A sculptor and restoration artist from West Sussex, she herself also an erstwhile assistant to Alison.  This is beginning to get complicated, isn’t it?

I’ve shared some photos of Kate Hanrahan’s work above.  A few carving hours prior to completion of this imposing and impressive commission destined for RHS Chelsea, I visited Kate at her Bepton studio and captured some darkness and light, detail and scale.  All the while, nattering about a mutual love of The Pyrenees in France, chatting about trail running, interrogating her about her process, her career and hearing some of the detours and learns along the way.

Also above are some moments from the annual Open Day at Alison’s workshop. A sun-kissed May weekend involving many visitors being welcomed to the inviting space of The Woodcarver’s Studio.    

This month I’ve a commission coming up to photograph another Kate and, like May’s Kate, June’s Kate is a sculptor as well.  There’s a pattern here developing …  

With photographic equipment, I necessarily have to keep a reasonably tidy workspace to ensure lenses and camera bodies are safely stored. Large vessels of milky brown, caffeinated fluids are suitably distanced from the shiny, black valuable items on my desk and worktop counters which don’t much care for any liquid inundation.

I don’t much care for sterile environments.  They leave me unsettled.  I jump up and down with delight though when I get to visit creative spaces, client workshops and studios, where tools, machinery, dust and mess are allowed to accumulate and add to the ambiance.  I visited one such place yesterday morning and gawped and gazed in reverence at the delightful, rustic disorder that spewed in all directions.  This was the farmer’s barn and and also home to Kate Henderson’s studio.

An ancient barn space, all dusty beams and nested crevices, bulging with agricultural servicing tools, spare iron and mechanical fixtures.  The farmer at Love Farm has been fixing and repairing under the eaves of this barn for decades and dusty decades. The swallows squitting their guano projectiles down in earnest for likely as long.

In one partitioned sub studio at left in this barn of a tenanted farmyard on the Cowdray estate in West Sussex, a motorcycle enthusiast oils and greases shiny, silver mechanical parts to whichever vehicle is up on the blocks.  In the sub studio to the right, this is where Kate Henderson works her magic.

Next week I’ll be revisiting Love Farm to photograph Kate with an emerging giant made of a huge fallen piece of Cedar of Lebanon, lifted from the client’s woodland and destined to return and to the hallway rather than to the grounds. The wood is being reshaped into a new elegant form.  I’m planning on doing a little sun dance midweek to bring on the god light for our shoot.