NGJ Summer Exhibition: Katrina Coombs

Katrina Coombs

Katrina Grounded.jpg

Katrina Coombs – Grounded

I have a passion for fibre and an understanding of the sensitivity of threads and fabric which has grown beyond design and into sculptural forms.  My practice focuses on the impact of the Other on the “I” and the quintessence of gender politics of the Other. I weave and stitch fibres and textiles into tactile and sometimes large-scale sculptural forms, engaging the sometimes ambivalent and stigmatizing ways society engages the female persona.  My current works are an exploration into the notion of the woman’s body as a form of carriage, and how the womb becomes an unspoken voice of an Other for women’s existence and identity. They explore forms of intrusion in the constructed space and psychological space of fibrous vessels, similarly to the emotional intrusion of an Other, whether it be internal or external to the body; creating a sense of presence, absence and longing within. 

Katrina Golden Flow.jpg

Katrina Coombs – Golden Flow

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Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Juried Artists: Katrina Coombs

Katrina Coombs – Others Divergent (2016)

Here is another short feature on a participating artist from our Jamaica Biennial 2017 archives.

Katrina Coombs was born in 1986, in Kingston, Jamaica. She holds a BFA with honours in Textile and Fibre Art (2008) and a Certificate in Curatorial Studies (2009) from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. In 2013, she obtained an MFA in Creative Practice from the University of Plymouth in the UK, via Transart Institute in New York, USA. Coombs’s work has been featured in many exhibitions since 2008, including the School of Visual Arts Faculty Shows at the CAG[e] Gallery, Edna Manley College from 2009 to 2016 and she was one of the young artists featured in Young Talent 2015 at the National Gallery of Jamaica. She also participated in Dimensions of Womanhood at the 2016 Kingston on the Edge (KOTE) Urban Arts Festival and in Re-Frame Manila, which was part of the 2016 London Biennale Manila Pollination art project in the Philippines. Her tactile and sometimes large-scale textile and fibre works speak about women’s lives and relationships. Coombs is based in Kingston.

Katrina Coombs – Fixation (2016)

Young Talent 2015: Katrina Coombs

Here is another in our short posts on the artists in the Young Talent 2015 exhibition, which opens on August 30:

Katrina Coombs was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1986. She holds a BFA in Textiles and Fibre Arts from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in 2008 and has completed her MFA in Creative Practice at the University of Plymouth through the Transart Institute in 2013. Katrina lectures part time in the Textiles and Fibre Arts Department at the Edna Manley College.

Artist’s Statement

My work is governed and guided by my emotions as I attempt to understand and search for the woman that I am. Each artwork represents a part of me that is hidden from myself an others. They embody my hidden voice. The artworks I create depict my experiences of birth, death, love, heartbreak, corruption, entrapment, destruction, joy, happiness and freedom. In this attempt to understand the Self and these experiences, the Other becomes ever more present. Through the use of fibrous material and techniques I explore the effect of the Other on the ‘I’.

This body of work emphasizes the social implications of insecurities and turmoil that a woman faces as she struggles with her daily life attempting to satisfy herself, partner, family and friends which create an enterprise for conflict. In this situation the Other would be the motherly instincts and desires of a woman. The works mimic the nature of the womb, which becomes an Other to the woman as she attempts to conform to its demands, as well as the emotional turmoil that accompanies its actions. The ‘I’ becomes absent as the Other prevails and creates a void of neurotic divergence within.