A COVERT PHYSICAL
THE DISCURSIVE FIELD
BY KATRINA PALMER
‘On the Western Window Pane’ is a new year long fundraising project organised by the Van Gogh House, presenting 12 artist designed, limited edition posters in its front, West facing window. Katrina Palmer has made our October poster.
Artists and writers were invited to create posters drawing out the many-layered narratives from the building’s remarkable history. Each artist has taken their own approach, from coming of age, to colour and unionism.
Katrina Palmer correlates an expanded sculptural practice with writing and associated forms including audio works, performances and signs. Objects, bodies and voices proposed in this writing are often precariously situated between absence and full emergence in the social space.
Among her exhibitions are Hello and Retreat (England’s Creative Coast, 2021); The Coffin Jump (Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 14-18 NOW, 2018); The Necropolitan Line (Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 2015); End Matter (Artangel, 2015).
She has authored three books with Book Works, London, (2010, 2014, 2015) and contributed to multiple publications including the Documents of Contemporary Art series, Whitechapel Gallery/MIT (2013, 2021).
Palmer received the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists, 2014. She teaches at the Ruskin School of Art, and lives in London.
“Black Text is manifestly the title page of a written work. The painted paper and words propose the construction of the missing work that is attributed to the author/publisher named Palmer. This name appears in place of the author/publisher’s African name, that was erased as part of the transatlantic slave trade.”
– Katrina Palmer
A letter from Van Gogh’s early days in London contained a transcription of a poem by John Keats called ‘The Eve of St. Mark’. One of the verses contains the line ‘on the western window panes’ and continues to describe how the whole world seems to be reflected and contained in this piece of glass:
The verse captures Van Gogh House’s approach to this project, seeing the building as a portal to an endlessly rich body of themes and conversations.
Further education materials around the influence of Keats on Van Gogh can be found in our Learning area, under Learning Activities
As with many other small arts organisations, the Van Gogh House was severely affected by the pandemic. By selling posters, Van Gogh House hopes to support the artists involved and use the income to fund future projects.
A new poster will be installed on the first of each month until March 2022, with 12 posters in total. We encourage everyone to place their posters in their windows, and to share their thoughts and reflections with us.
What do you think about this poster? How would you have responded to Keats’ poem? Would you show the poster in your window?
Take part in the conversation by:
87 Hackford Road,
Brighid Lowe, Madeleine Pledge, Lesley Sharpe, Allison Katz, Jordan & Frank Baseman, Ye Funa, Katrina Palmer, Aisha Farr & Will Harris, Rosa-Johan Uddoh, Gray Wielebinski, Tom Lovelace and Feifei Zhou.
With thanks to Benjamin Arthur Brown for curating the project, Klaudia Bebenek for her help in producing this project, Omnicolour for printing the posters, and to the artists involved.