Katherine Wise

Biography

During childhood my family and I moved every 18 months or so. Lucky enough to have been brought up in different countries, the distinct memories I hold are of Asia and in particular Malaysia. My father was involved in a project to track the spread of disease by migrating birds and at the crack of dawn we would go into the jungle to catch these minute creatures. Finest hair nets were strung between trees in their flight paths to hold them without harm. Their tiny legs untangled before examination would be ringed and on one occasion I was allowed to hold one before it’s release. The atmosphere, the tropical heat and tremendous noise, the abundance of nature, and huge jungle foliage with its vivid colours, the red of the earth and the green of the vegetation are memories I hold clearly. In the frenetic cities the odorous market places, the mass of humanity and animal life were  overwhelmingly powerful experiences. It was a hugely influential time and one that fed my impressionable imagination. From the earliest age it was clear my path would be a visually creative one.

Familiar with packing up and re-locating to wherever necessary, living on the move gave me a predisposition to travel and a deep curiosity about humanity. At the same time, it produced a yearning to belong somewhere with an attachment to community and place.

After completing a BA Degree at West Surrey College of Art and Design, I studied for a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Sculpture at Southern Illinois University in the USA. I had been aware of its fine programme in metal-smithing and casting, as well as its strategic location, which made it an excellent meeting point for collaboration with sculptors nationwide. Over four hundred miles south of Chicago and north east of Memphis, we were at the southern end and eastern side of the deep mid-west where I spent three intensely focussed years learning technique and articulating my work’s raison d’être.

Now living in Greece, I continue my exploration, experimenting with materials and ideas. I love the settled community in which I have found myself, most of whom come from families who have lived in the same location for centuries. It is an inspiring place in which to create and a stimulating point on the planet from which to look both East and West.