Visiting Artist’s Talk – Kate Stockwell

For this week's Visiting Artist's Talk we welcome Kate Stockwell.

Kate Stockwell is a mature artist who after a 30 year career in the museum service has returned to her art practice. The work draws on her experience as a conservator to focus on objects. She creates art objects which reference collection objects to create new narratives. The art can either stand alone or be displayed back in the context of the museum in juxtaposition to the collection. The work is about the multiple meaning and agency of objects.

Kate studied Fine Art at the University of Leeds from 1982 to 86. After graduating she achieved some early success in exhibiting her work. Several rugs were included in ‘The Subversive Stitch’ (1988-89) at The Corner House, Manchester and touring. This was a seminal exhibition inspired by the Rozsika Parker book of the same title. A large commissioned rug was produced for the show while studying for a Post Graduate Diploma in conservation and after this art practice almost ceased.

In 2019, Kate began a two year part time MA in Creative Practice at Leeds Arts University. This marked the re-emergence of her practice. She began a body of work which referenced medical museums and archives to address issues around women’s health. It is argued that the historical absence and misrepresentation of women within medical discourse continues to this day and affects the treatment women get when they go to the doctor. The art attempts to redress some balance by focusing on issues such as menopause.

The work draws on the concept of wonder and the uncanny to create interesting and arresting objects to engage the viewer. The made objects incorporate information or data. The work has a didactic and often overtly political message.

Kate is one of several artists embarking on an AA2A placement in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.

About the Visiting Artists’ Talks series

The Visiting Artist’s Talk (VAT) series hosts talks by an exciting range of arts practitioners from around the world every Monday afternoon 2–4pm during teaching weeks.

All of our talks are compulsory for our Fine Art students but are also open to anyone else who would like to join us.

For more information, please email Anna Douglas.

Directions to the Conference Auditorium

See the campus map.


Kate Stockwell, Menopause Bodies, Assembly House 2021.