Artist profile - Katie Edwards, Newby Bridge
- Credit: Archant
A young woman from the Lakes is making a name as one of the north’s foremost printers.
KatIe Edwards is dashing to finish a major project before grabbing her snowboard and heading for a holiday in Japan.
It’s a sentence that encapsulates three of her favourite things - art, travel and outdoor sports. But first she has to complete the project - a series of prints, some straightforward works of art and others with a functional purpose such as signposting the facilities at the Manchester apartment/hotel where they are destined to hang. Another batch will go nationwide to other hotels in the same group.
‘It’s a very exciting – the biggest project I’ve done,’ says the 32-year-old. ‘Some are quite small, quirky illustrations but others are ceiling to floor so it’s been a lot of work in a very short space of time. But I never miss deadlines – if necessary, I just stay up late.’
Lake District born Katie, a former pupil at Dallam School in Milnthorpe, has a growing reputation as one of the north’s top screen printers. Her illustrations appear regularly in national newspapers and magazines, such as The Observer and The Economist, and she has gained commissions from a diverse range of clients such as Booths, the National Australian Bank and Converse. Her prints intended to be hung on walls at home can be found for sale in galleries in the Lakes and Lancashire as well as further afield. Last year she won two coveted prizes, including the Founder’s Award at Printfest in Ulverston. ‘My previous award was in 2015 so to win two in one year was wonderful. It’s nice to have your work recognised.’
After gaining a first class honours degree in graphic arts at Leeds Met, Katie spent four years working in London and some time in Canada. ‘Four years ago I came back to the Lakes,’ she says. ‘That had always been the plan. Why wouldn’t you? It’s such a lovely place.’
Katie, who is based in Newby Bridge, has managed to combine business with pleasure by completing a series of works featuring her mountain biking group, called One More Brew. ‘It was nice to do some illustrations on a subject that I’m really keen on,’ she says.
Not that her outdoor activities are restricted to biking – she walks her dog, snowboards, travels, is a fell runner, paddle boards and keeps herself supple with yoga.
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Much of her work has a quirky, humorous even surreal element. It’s not a conscious thing – ‘I don’t consider myself a funny person’ – but the unexpected juxtapositions in her pictures make you smile. ‘There is usually an unusual object that’s out of place. For instance, a city scene with a wild animal.’
Like many printers, the joy of what she does comes from the element of surprise. ‘Screen printing is usually all about creating clean, flat images,’ she says. ‘But I like to create textures.
‘Each piece is slightly different, every one is unique. You need to know what you want to achieve but you don’t want to have too much control over it. Happy accidents are what I like!’
You can see more of Katie’s work at ktedwards.co.uk