Katrina Palmer is a British artist who focuses on the use of narrative within her work. She creates sculptures through her voice and words, as they form the impression of a physical reality on the viewer. Palmer develops her narratives around fictional characters and scenarios which she then builds upon, discovering more about their situations through the process.
Perhaps one of her most intriguing works is ‘End Matter’ (2015), in which Palmer recorded narratives to guide a walk around the island of Portland, where Portland stone is quarried. She stated the the quarried landscape was like an inverted monument, as the stones removed become beautiful or historically significant objects, the island dissipates. She sees the removal of the land as creative though, as more stones and forms become uncovered through the explosion of the original layers of material.
Another very interesting work was ‘The Necropolitian Line’ (2016), a show for the Henry Moore Gallery in Leeds. For this work, Palmer was inspired by the use of a train service in London which carried bodies across the capital. In the gallery space she installed a train platform with an array of short announcements. The platform acted almost ironically as everyone waited for a train which would never arrive, however slowed down the pace of the normal commuter situation, creating an intrestingly subtle experience of the station without the inevitable rush, providing a space for contemplation. Also in this show she included further stories focusing on the ideas of saying goodbye and reflections on the traumatic act this can be.
I am very interested in the way that Palmer uses narrative around fictional and real situations as part of her practice, and when she performed some of her writings during the talk I found the writing beautiful in its almost abstract quality, as she makes links between words and situations that become apparent as the story unravels.