Kate Davis – Not Just the Perfect Moments

Having Put Herself in the Picture,  2012

Having Put Herself in the Picture, 2012
Having Put Herself in the Picture, 2012
Framed pencil drawing and screenprint on paper with circular mirror 63 x 87 x 5 cm / 38cm



Kate Davis has been commissioned to realise a new body of work for her solo exhibition at Drawing Room. Questioning how to bear witness to the complexities of the past, Davis’ artwork is an attempt to reconsider, reclaim and reinvent what certain histories could look, sound and feel like. This has often involved responding to the aesthetic and political ambiguities of historical art works and their reception. Working across a range of media, drawing remains the critical core of her visual vocabulary, and this exhibition will be the first time she addresses her relationship to drawing (as a medium, activity and history) so directly.

Focusing on ideologies perpetuated through certain approaches to the teaching of drawing, Not Just the Perfect Moments will attempt to stand alongside the late artist, Jo Spence, to re-examine and unpick some of the ways in which a representational practice, such as drawing, has constructed perceptions of the individual. Jo Spence’s groundbreaking photographic works often asked who owned images, and especially images of the body. In this exhibition, as with much of Davis’ practice, photography and drawing are brought into close relation, and both are questioned as techniques for challenging, and caring for, a past and future.

“ – it is precisely in its expression of this inferiority, that the drawing itself becomes valuable. It is because a photo cannot condemn itself that it is worthless. The glory of a great picture is in its shame; and the charm of it, in expressing the pleasure of a loving heart, that there is something better than a picture…”

John Ruskin

Kate Davis (born 1977, New Zealand) lives and works in Glasgow. Davis has recently had solo exhibitions at: GoMA, Glasgow; Museo de la Ciudad and La Galeria de Comercio, Mexico (2010); CCA, Glasgow (two-person commission with Faith Wilding for Glasgow International) (2010); Galerie Kamm, Berlin (2011), Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow (2008), Tate Britain, London (2007) and Kunsthalle Basel (2006). Her work has also been shown as part of: eva International 2012 (curated by Annie Fletcher), Limerick, Ireland; Sanctuary/Comraich (curated by Sophie Crichton Stuart and James Mackay), Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute, Scotland (2012); The End of the Line: Attitudes in Drawing, a Hayward Touring Exhibition (2009), Art Sheffield 10 (collaborative commission with Jimmy Robert) (2010); Das Gespinst, Stadtisches Museum Abteiberg, Monchengladbach (2009); Poetical Political, Simon Lee Gallery, London (2007); Like Leaves, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (curated by Caoimhin Mac Giolla Leith), New York (2007) and If I can’t dance I don’t want to be part of your revolution, De Appel Amsterdam (2006). Davis has been awarded a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship and residencies at Camden Arts Centre, London, Banff Arts Center, Canada and Cove Park, in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. Forthcoming projects include a group exhibition at Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico (curated by Adam Szymczyk) and a solo exhibition at Temporary Gallery, Cologne (curated by Regina Barunke). Kate Davis is represented by Galerie Kamm, Berlin.

This exhibition has been kindly supported by The Elephant Trust and The Jo Spence Archive.