Talent Development Artist Catch-up - Kate Watkins

Back in 2019, ‘a space’ awarded 11 SO based artists funding through our Talent Development bursary scheme which provided artists with crucial financial support to help develop their practice and artistic careers. We recently caught up with Kate Watkins, a Hampshire based printmaker, to find out how the bursary supported her practice and creative development.

What did the Talent Development bursary enable you to do?

I was able to begin to develop a new body of larger abstract prints by having dedicated studio access at Badger Press along with framing tuition. The encouragement of being awarded the bursary led me to visit one of my printmaking heroes (Katherine Jones) at her studio in London.  Her insights about her working processes and our discussion about women giving themselves permission to carve out time for their creative practice gave me a new perspective.

Where are you now / what’s happened since?

The bursary programme finished just before the pandemic struck which changed exhibition plans, however in between lockdowns I took part in online art fairs such as Woolwich Contemporary print fair and won a prize at St Barbe gallery exhibition. Badger Press has recently reopened so I’m back printing and continuing to develop two styles of abstract prints, geometric shelters and circular screenprints.  The next stage, which is scarier, is to promote the new work. I’m updating my online galleries and building a Shopify website to act as a shopfront for my prints and art kits.

What has the impact of the bursary been?

The bursary allowed me to focus on my printmaking practice because it eased the financial burden of creating new work. Being supported by other practitioners who had different areas of expertise and experience but had many of the same concerns was hugely valuable.  Building networks and sharing the journey with other artists on the programme, and supported by Alys and Katie, felt like having your own personal cheerleaders.  I am continuing to develop my work with renewed focus following the bursary.

See more of Kate’s work here

Find out more about our Talent Development bursary scheme and it’s recipients here

To receive notification when the bursary scheme re-opens, please sign up to the ‘a space’ arts mailing list