The work of Kathy Prendergast (b. 1958) is concerned with ideas about territory, journeying and change.
In Range, a new work commissioned by the Centre, she develops her distinctive tent-like imagery on a larger scale than before. The tent occupies an area that one or two people might inhabit but which is temporary and subject to change. The marks painted and drawn on the canvas surface recall a map, a terrain to be travelled through. A tent can be carried away and pitched in a new place; a map measures a journey or records a landscape as it used to be for it can never keep pace with the inexorable changes brought about nature and man.
As a result, both become repositories of the past, of an ever-present history in which the future is rooted.
Supported by the Henry Moore Foundation and The Elephant Trust
Maps have something numinous about them: they align us with a reality that is beyond and greater than ourselves. Simultaneously, though, a good map will correspond to the physical world with uncanny precision. Maps are metaphors but they are also simple codes, easily decipherable and mysteriously literal.
Kathy Prendergast has long been concerned with the mapping and modeling of subjective experience. She has appeared to move arbitrarily between a bewildering variety of media, eschewing formal consistency, but her vagaries chart physical and spiritual voyages of discovery, undertaken with knowing innocence. Her works serves both as a trace of a progress and as a marker of achievement; it documents the path she has taken and reveals her awe at the wonders she passes away.
(Extract of exhibition text written by John Hutchinson)