In this, the second instalment of our #HereForU initiative, we take a look at the wonderful work of Katelyn Ledford and Clementine Keith-Roach. In support of the young artists and creatives that will be critically affected by this crisis, our #HereforU initiative uses our Instagram platform to promote young artists that are recommended by U, our audience. If you would like to propose any artists, please visit our Instagram page and send us a DM with the username of the artist you would like us to support.
Katelyn Ledford’s work features an array of shapes, symbols and images that are emphasised by a wide range of materials: meticulously applied oil paints, spray paint and collage elements make up the pieces. The juxtaposition of these typically textured materials and a rather smooth surface quality makes the viewer question their perceived sense of space.
On a theoretical level, Ledford’s work considers the role of digital technology - specifically that of wide-spread imagery - in shaping portraits of women in the contemporary climate. She believes images of people lose their context and personhood when they cross the digital threshold and begin to move through virtual space. She does the majority of her sketching on photoshop, collecting a mass of online images (usually female figures) that can then form the basis for an interesting artistic dialogue. She uses these images to form deconstructed portraits that pop with life and vitality, while referencing a more sombre subject matter - not unlike Allison Zuckerman, one of our favourite artists here at Unit London.
“Ultimately, I seek a mode of painting that can slow down the viewer and make them consider our image-saturated, online-obsessed, contemporary reality within the framework of portraiture.”
Katelyn Ledford currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her art has been featured and exhibited along the South and Northeast regions in galleries and museums such as the Baton Rouge Gallery, Birmingham Museum of Art, Wiregrass Museum of Art, and Field Projects Gallery in New York City.
Compare/Despair, 2019, 30” x 40’, oil on canvas
Clementine Keith-Roach began taking plaster casts of her own body when she was pregnant with her first child. Fascinated by the changes that were taking place in her body, she began to document this change in sculpture - moulding the casts of her breasts onto terracotta vessels sourced from Turkey or Greece. She would then paint with a trompe l’oeil effect, seamlessly melding the original aged surface of the pottery with its new plaster features.
A few years later Keith Roach’s subject matter changed: after the birth of her first child she became fascinated with her baby’s haptic connection with the world, the idea of the hand as a kinf of vehicle for sensory interpretation of the external world greatly interested her. She began to consider pottery as a vessel which is representative of the female form, introducing hands to the pieces for an added element of implied tactility. This is highly sensory work that takes shape, texture, and meditative theory as sacrosanct.
“[My work] shows some kind of overriding shared consciousness, clay has this very primal relationship to the body… Maybe it’s just a natural thing to anthropomorphise these clay vessels, they’re just calling out to be given characters.”
Clementine Keith-Roach splits her time between London and Athens. As well as being a prolific sculptor, Keith-Roach works in set design and journalism (editing the art and poetry journal Effects). She designs sets for fashion houses, music videos, events, still life and theatre. Her clients include Bulgari, Vivienne Westwood, Selfridges, Clare Barrow and Wales Bonner.
And soon it lightly dipped, and rose, and sank, 2019
Cup, to which I never move my lips, 2019,