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artist in focus: katherine richards

Katherine runs an established interior design consultancy in Hove, East Sussex and having had a varied career spanning different artistic disciplines, she has established a reputation for providing a passionate and inspiring approach to interior design. Katherine spends a large part of her time focusing on bringing impact to a space and considering the way in which lighting affects us and the moods it creates.

Her collection of sculptural lamps is comprised of seven pieces, all startlingly different. Each one is sculpted in clay by Katherine, cast in resin and meticulously hand finished with gold leaf. A fascination of shadows, contrast and texture underpin these designs

How do you describe your work?

My work is playfully grand. With this collection of sculptural lamps, I enjoyed creating drama by working on a fairly large scale. They have been beautifully photographed but the size isn’t fully appreciated until they are seen for real. They are organic in form – I allowed the clay to lead me, rather than following sketches or imagery. They are detailed in texture and, I hope, interesting to look at, aside from their obvious practical purpose

What would you say are your biggest influences?

My work as a stage and costume designer plays a big part in most of what I do creatively, not least with these lamps. I’m a great observer of shape and form wherever I am and I love irregularities, asymmetry, and curves

Antoni Gaudi’s work is of constant fascination to me. I’ve been to Barcelona on numerous occasions and spent many hours studying his work and trying to understand his genius mind. If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be him. Actually, I think he would enjoy my lamps!

Who do you have in mind when you create your work?

I don’t think I have anyone in my mind really. My mind drifts into wondering what people will say when they see my pieces, but the joy of working as I do is that I am completely absorbed in the clay and switched off to the rest of the world. I let the clay do its thing…

What makes your art different, special and irresistible?

As I work in the interior design world, I am aware that there are no lamps like these on the market, so for this reason I know they will hold interest and curiosity. They are limited, so once we have sold 20, there will be no more and I will be onto a new collection – I hope this makes them special and exciting

What do people say when they see your collection? How does your art make them feel?

Almost everyone who has seen and commented on my lamps have said they remind them of someone or something. This has come as a surprise to me, to be honest. Many have spoken of a child’s story book they had (or their children had perhaps) and some have said the lamps bring back memories of someone they once knew (or still do). Someone told me that the little man on the lamp named ‘Azur’ was the spitting image of her father who had recently passed away. She commissioned me to make the little man on his own, sitting on a rock with a tiny walking stick propped between his knees, as a memoir

Another person told me the lamp named ‘Filo d‘Oro’ (Gold Thread) reminded her of an aunt she had who was very grand and loved parties, but was always the last one to leave, having had a few too many… made me smile

What do you think motivates people to buy your art? How does it appeal to the heart?

The sense of touch is a decisive factor when buying my work. Because of the mixed media elements in my work, it is both visual as well as tactile. As well as viewing a piece, people want to know how it is made, to touch it and notice its texture or weight. This is what connects people to my work

My clients also feel good because they know they are buying works of art that advocate environmental sustainability

Who have you sold your work to before?

I think the person who decides to buy one of my lamps is mostly interested in the unique quirkiness of them. They probably don’t need a new lamp but are attracted by the sculpture, and the lamp is a sort of added bonus. They probably already collect art and have an eclectic mix of pieces in their homes. And they tend to be very interested in interior design.


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