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Catherine Bertola

Unfurling Splendour series (V-VII) 2015
Installation performance

At each of the three Acts of Making festival venues, Catheirne Bertola developed and installed a unique work within her Unfurling Splendour series.

For this installation performance Bertola created a patterned carpet made entirely from dust gathered from the local area. At the start of the festival, working alone, she methodically applied PVA glue through a stencil directly onto the floor. She then added the dust to the glue to gradually reveal the finished installation. At the end of the festival the public were able to witness Bertola cleaning away the work to leave no trace of the pattern.

Acts of Making, Bilston.  Catherine Bertola, Unfurling Splendour (V), 2015. Photo: Sophie Mutevelian.

The works in the Unfurling Splendour series look beyond the surface of craft objects and buildings to uncover the invisible histories of people and places. She also often references traditional craft and skills within each work.  Bertola’s use of dust and the intensive process of installing the works highlight the forgotten and unseen labour of women in their domestic role within the home.

Bertola created patterns that were bespoke to each of the three locations that the works in the series were presented: Bilston Craft Gallery, the Shipley Art Gallery and Mount Edgcumbe House. 

Inspirational fretwork, Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead.  Photo: Sophie Mutevelian.

At Mount Edgcumbe, Bertola was inspired by the craftsmanship of a Louis XV period boulle style bureau that is on display within the house. For the Shipley she used the Edwardian iron fretwork that covered the radiators as the starting point for her design and for Bilston a pattern that was in keeping with the Edwardian architectural origins of the gallery building.     

Acts of Making, Plymouth.  Catherine Bertola, Unfurling Splendour (VII), 2015. Photo: Sophie Mutevelian.

About the Artist:
Catherine Bertola creates installations, objects and drawings that respond to particular sites, collections and historic contexts. Her work is concerned with the ordinary materials of everyday life and a preoccupation with the ways in which time, and the passing of time, become written into the material objects in the world around us.

Other artists in Acts of Making;

Keith Harrison
Owl Project
Mah Rana
Clare Twomey
Richard William Wheater