Brighton artist Kate Montgomery opening new exhibition – Pattern Book – on 29 June

Pattern Book
Kate Montgomery

Opens 29th June – 27 July 2023

Private View
28th June

A Dream of the Downs 2022

Kate Montgomery studied at The Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art. University of Oxford (1985 -88) and at The Royal College of Art, London (1990 – 1992) under Professor Keith Critchlow.

Kate Montgomery’s interest in textiles, and her studies in Islamic pattern inform the texture and aesthetic of her painting, where patterns and textiles are very much part of the story. She uses geometric principles and Victorian designs to weave through her works, which are small and intensely painted in casein on board. Pattern Book, the title of Kate’s show refers to the well-thumbed collection of pattern design books piled up on her studio floor.  From Owen Jones’ Grammar of Ornament, Eugene Grasset’s La Plante et ses Applications Ornementales to early modern designers Enid Marx and Margaret Calkin James. Versions of these patterned worlds of stylised plant forms and codified people find their way into her paintings through gardens, textiles and wallpapers. The visual pleasure of colour and pattern is employed to balance the narratives and human drama in Kate Montgomerys’ jewel like paintings. Kate’s imagery is developed through compulsive sketchbook drawing on trains, in stations, and within the landscapes and gardens of Kent and Sussex.

Sister’s Blue Dress, 2023
Kate Montgomery’s paintings are a look behind the curtains, private moments and domestic quiet. The narrative can be solitary, dreamlike or thoughtful, the subject is often an exploration of personal narratives or inspired by the lives of Kate’s own daughters, occasionally by an unusual historical tale. Childhood features strongly with many paintings depicting a parlour game or a mysterious scene from imaginative play. There is a suggestion of interior spaces associated with female responsibility, creativity and desire – silent houses with children outside, workrooms, a costume gallery.

‘These paintings recall the interiors and gardens of seaside holiday houses from my childhood and in Brighton and Hove now. Gardens and countryside play a larger role on this series of works. Past domestic lives can be imagined through their wallpapers, furnishings and fittings from previous generations. My memories of those spaces are fugitive and embroidered like family histories: formal concerns of colour, space and pattern suspend narrative. The paintings look like stories but do not tell them’. – Kate Montgomery.

Morning Ghost, 2022

Kate Montgomery has been a lecturer at Central St Martins. She was artist in residence at Glynebourne Opera House in 2008. Her work is regularly selected for the RA Summer Show and The Discerning Eye.

Her work is in the collections of Vivien Duffield, Elizabeth Esteve-Coll, HRH King Charles, The Cromwell Hospital London, St John’s College Oxford, New Hall Women’s Art Collection and Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.

Please contact Sarah Long or Katherine Benson for further images and information.