Kate Palmer


Kate Palmer makes an unusual but vivid connection between her approach to painting and the act of snowboarding: ' snowboarding feels like slow rolling mercury, tight and contained but quick and reactive. Sometimes the rhythm of my carved arcs is interrupted by rocks, trees or people, needing a sudden response, a recalculation'.

So with her new ‘Ride Switch’ paintings, which are the result of what she describes as ‘a counter-intuitive discipline, requiring embodied and cognitive skills, and a desire in the rider (and painter) to leave their comfort zone’. The results appear fresh and impulsive but also rigorously controlled, her combination of delicate tracery & swift brushwork carefully calibrated within the picture plane.


The dimensions of her most dramatic new painting (2 x 2.4 meters) were partly inspired by seeing Cy Twombly’s Bolsena Paintings at the Tate in 2008 (left) and employ a similarly dynamic diagonal drift across the surface, as well as a spare and suggestive calligraphy which in her case refers to musical notation. It sets up a kind of minimalist score beneath the staccato stops & turns being energetically played out on top, and the result is visually exhilarating.

Kate Palmer: Riding Switch, Broadbent Gallery London, until 21st April 2012