Kathleen Herbert uses the medium of performance and documentary to question and engage with the historical and contemporary functions of space. Often she finds an obscure historical footnote that she then explores to unlock a space’s unique atmosphere and identity. Her work draws on the conventions of documentary and film to build a series of narratives, often by redefining location and scale or through a layering of details. She creates a sense of intrigue, never quite exposing the full extent of the situation or story that she is telling. Through use of the uncanny, her work blurs boundaries between fact and fiction, myth and reality, investigating ideas around superstition, rituals and histories. Herbert draws out the apparent uninteresting or unspoken, redefining social, political, historic spatial narratives.
Kathleen Herbert lives and works in London. She has received several major awards from the Arts Council England South West, and British Council. In 2005 she was nominated for the Becks Futures Award. Recently Kathleen’s proposals A History of The Receding Horizon and Their Land Is Our Country were selected for the ArtAngel Open Longlist and ArtAngel Open 100.
Kathleen has completed several major commissions from the Southbank Centre, London, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Firstsite Gallery Colchester. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including: A Light Shines in the Darkness, Film and Video Umbrella Tour, UK (2014-2015); Stable, MOBIA Museum of Biblical Art, New York (2014); Force of Nature: Picturing Ruskin’s Landscape, Millennium Museum, Sheffield, (2013); Triumph of the Will, Camberwell Space, Camberwell College of Arts, London (2013); Garden of Reason, National Trust, Ham House, London (2013); Restless Times, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Norwich (2012); Firstsite, Colchester (2012); VOLTA NY, New York, (2010); Vita, Kuben, Umea, Sweden (2009); Hå gamle prestegard, Norway (2009); Sint Lukas Gallery, Brussels (2008); Stable, Danielle Arnaud London (2008), Auckland Triennial, Auckland (2004); Out of Site, Arnolfini, Bristol (2004), Time & Again, Crawford Gallery, Cork (2003); The Heimlich/Unheimlich, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne (2002); SCAPE, Art & Industry Bienniale, Christchurch (2002); BOP, Gallery Caldeira 213, Porto (2001); The Silk Purse Procedure, Arnolfini & Spike Island, Bristol (2001).
Kathleen’s practice has been featured in various publications including Time Out, The Sunday Times Culture Magazine, Artist Newletter, Art Monthly, The Guardian Guide and recently ‘Installation as Encounter’: Ernesto Neto, Do Ho Suh and Kathleen Herbert Considered’, in Rina Arya (ed), ‘Contemplations of the Spiritual in Contemporary Art’.
Rachel Halliburton, State of the Art, Time Out, September 2009, p19
David Jays, Creativity to burn, The Sunday Times Culture Magazine, 30th August 2009, p26
Ossian Ward, Fresh set of eyes – 40 Great Young Artists, Time Out, October 2008, p20
David Trigg, Exhibition Review of Stable, Artists Newsletter, July 2007, p.7
Robin Wilson, ‘Things here are subject unto change’, Art and Architecture Journal, 2005, p. 10
Jennifer Purvis, ‘Ever get the feeling you’re being watched?’ Flash Art International, 2004, n.236