Kate Wilson is a Toronto based visual artist whose practice includes site-specific large-scale wall drawing projects and animation. Wilson has exhibited nationally and internationally and is a recipient of awards from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts including the Canada Council Paris Studio.
Recent exhibitions include Beyond/ In Western New York 2007 organized by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA, Canadian Club, The Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, France, Real Estate Flowers at the Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, British Columbia, Microbial Baroque, Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, CAFKA.09: Veracity, Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area, Kitchener, Ontario, Collages in Motion and Artificial Dreams at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Botanical Model City, Museum London, London, Ontario, Curious Lights at the Union Gallery, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, The Afterlife of Buildings, General Hardware Contemporary, Toronto, Ontario, Cultural, Temporal and Imagined: Landscape in Recent Contemporary Acquisitions, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Toronto – Berlin, Zweigstelle Space for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany, The Embassy Cultural House, Museum London, London, Ontario and Ecotopia curated by Amanda Cachia at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery. Kate Wilson’s animated film A Primer of Small Stars premiered at the National Film Board of Canada Mediatheque, Toronto in June 2012. Current exhibitions include Ecotopia at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta, February – April 2013.
Kate Wilson’s darkly humorous worlds contain a skewed familiarity. In her images large expanses of foreboding sky are punctuated by hydro poles, road signs and wild botanicals. But the skies are black, red or mustardy yellow signaling pollution and diseased environments. Words on the road signs are obscure: a sign in the middle of nowhere displays the word PARADISE, with an arrow below. The plants are sprouting houses or are circled by flying saucers and Alien spacecrafts are juxtaposed with skyscrapers, organic forms with industrial structures. A sinister light often permeates the work where ravaged landscapes and debilitated technology abound. Wilson highlights her dark palette of colours with glowing reds or sickly greens so that a sense of unease arises. Although we recognize many elements – carnival lights, motel signs, and satellite dishes – we are left with a feeling of something wild and not quite right.
Text excerpt from Cold Drive by Corinna Ghaznavi.