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Kate Grabouski: Artist of the Week

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

This week we will be looking at artist Kate Grabouski, exploring her recent art process of creating film and how she combines text within her artwork.

If you want to see more of Kate's artwork you can view her website here, or follow her Instagram @kategrabouski

Can you briefly describe your art practice?

The best way to describe my art practice is that I am confessional artist, I base a lot of my

work around sexuality, sexual intercourse, past experiences, thoughts and feelings that I've

been through or thought. So mostly confessional, yet crude and rude. I come across as a blunt

person, so I think that can come across in my work sometimes, depending what I'm doing

work about. Who doesn’t make art for others to reach out to and be like ‘Shit man I feel that’. I have done some installation by making my studio space an art piece, it takes time, but it tells a story of process and thoughts. I like exploring new ways of creating art whether that’s verbal, online, text, video, painting or installation.

Is there a piece of art that you are most proud of creating? Why?

Ah, this one’s a tricky one. I'd like to say there are some pieces I am so proud of, yet I feel

like they’ve needed more time or more thought about before uploading. One of my proudest

pieces is an installation I done on my foundation course ‘REGRET, HEART BREAK, LOVE

2018’. The art piece shows 3 pillows that were nailed onto a light pink wall, in the order of

‘REGRET, HEART BREAK, AND LOVE’. Each pillow has a piece of text on it which was either cut into or burnt onto. Above each pillow there were frames which show the meaning of each word. It was a massive spark to me when I realised that text could be considered as art. At this point I only discovered Tracey Emin which influenced me at the time. It was my first proper exhibition, and I felt like I had to let go of some regret I done that year.. I spent hours and days on making sure it all came together so perfectly. I wanted people to read about how it's okay to have these sorts of regrets, that it was okay to feel your heart breaking, and it was okay to fall in love again. I will most likely burn this, as the whole ‘love pillow’ is about an ex now… ahaha.

Kate Grabouski, REGRET, HEART BREAK, LOVE, pillows, whiteboards, text, 2018

Is there a piece of artwork you have created which you do not like?

This one is funny actually, the art piece that I’ve made which can’t be found anymore… for legal reasons as it involved an ex-partner who wished for it to be taken off YouTube. Although I had full consent of him being in the video at the time. (Prick). It was my first year in university and I decided after talking to my tutor that I was going to make a video of someone throwing bread at my face as many times and getting my reaction. I will add bread hurts when its thrown at your face. Looking back at it, yeah I thought it was good but actually it was so shit. I don’t think I have the video anymore, people did find it funny.

Your artwork tackles many themes of sexuality, why do you feel this is an important topic to explore?

Sex, sexuality, yes! I feel like it should be explored so much, if we could have naked men/women in paintings and sculpture many years ago, why not talk and make work about it now? Its 2020, women are allowed to be free to do what they want, with consent. Its so important, sex is enjoyable, it shouldn’t be looked at as a bad thing to talk about or even look at.

Kate Grabouski, GROWTH, screen recording, 2020

What projects have you recently completed?

I'm currently doing research about ‘Hook up culture’ for my third year, end of year degree show. I have big plans for this, I look forward to making a installation, and going with a script that I've already completed during lockdown.

Why do you make this type of art?

People ask me this all the time, “Why do you make rude art?” “Cant you just be normal and draw people?”, a lot of the time its my parents and family, which frankly they don’t understand it. I hate drawing people, street drawings, anything that seems like its been done 100 times before. I get bored easily. Since me going through school, to then doing art in college I learnt that I was more open to do nude, to talk about drugs, sex because other artists have. I enjoyed so many other artists like Tracey Emin, Jenny Saville, Barbara Kruger and many more.

What kind of artists influence you the most?

Who am I Influenced by… I mention her always Tracey Emin, id like to say I’ll be the new Tracey Emin in my time.. (I wish). Cindy Sherman, David Shrigley (love his work) and defiantly my recent one Ann Hirsch, especially her work! Ann Hirsch influenced me during lockdown with my screen recordings. I am influenced by many students on my course, Dyson, Andreea Pislaru and many more.

Kate Grabouski, installation, 2020

What one thing would you like to change about the art industry today? 

Changing the art world, or the art industry… its hard. One thing I’d love for it be took more seriously in schools, more funding. Everyone in lockdown was doing art projects like they’ve never done art in their life!!! Yet it’s just pushed aside even at GCSE… (if that’s still round).

Artists who are big to actually come round and go to university’s or schools and influence

people, that would be good to see more of. More young artists on the television, give hope to

people out there.

One of your recent artworks Hook Up Culture involves sketches and text/poetry. Is text an important part of your practice?

Text will always be part of my work, whether its out loud screaming, on the wall, on the floor, online, it’s a practice I’ve loved since I was 16, just never thought it would be considered in the art world.

Kate Grabouski, Hook Up Culture, text and drawing, 2020

Due to the sudden impacts of COVID-19, artists have had to adapt. How have you adapted to this sudden change with the way you approach art if at all?

I’ve had to adapt to the whole new change of different medium, the whole screen recordings,

an video has been a new approach for me. I'd say its been challenging trying to learn on my own a new medium, editing takes a long time, enough wine or tea should do it. I’ve had to adapt to the new medium being at home as I cant do installation at home or even do half my work as I don’t do PG work, its hard with kids in the house I must admit.

What kind of messages and ideas do you want your art to portray?

The messages can be taken however people read them, I can't control how someone takes to

work, we all think differently. I'd like to think that people find deeper meanings behind some

of my work, even if it doesn’t come across as mature for young adults or older. It should give

them an insight of what’s really there and what goes on.

Your welcome to add anything else.

There’s one thing I want to add, if anyone is reading this and doesn’t know where they’re

going in their own art world as an artists , keep going, search, look, explore, keep making art!

We have really enjoyed taking a look into the projects that Kate has been creating. It is always very interesting to see how someone approaches artmaking, and the many different themes people explore.

If you are interested in being featured as an Artist of the Week you can fill out a short application form here.

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