David MacDiarmid & Kate Palmer

March 2018

in conversation

Lydia Prior and Martin o'Brien

Chaired by Reece Jones

The search for resolution is not key, rather a semi or partial state of existence, a content state of flux.  Both MacDiarmid and Palmer explore the void - the gap between marks or forms, fractures and collapse. By delving into formlessness or loss of material integrity of line and fabric, they have an identifiable purpose; to view the broken as a whole and to understand disconnection as part of a wider aim. Allowing cross-overs to establish relationships, and provide moments for sites of dialogue. They both convey marks and surfaces that explore relational and resonating elemental forms. They create work where a collapse opens up the potential for impermanence. They use material processes to form temporary images, structures, or objects. What once existed has collapsed, and what has taken its place is also potentially impermanent. It has been or could still be covered; slashed; bent; cracked or broken. This is Palmer and MacDiarmid’s art of collapse.



Kate Palmer's Process


The process of my work involves the application of multiple layers of paint and other materials in order to reveal something about the relationship between mark and absence. On the surface slits made by tape, offer a glimpse of what was present before, and the complex multiplicity of marks on the surface, cause a sort of vibration.


I am interested in the relationship between internal and external realities. The recent series of works ‘Sluff’, originated from a residency in a dis-used restaurant in the Alps, this work then transposed to the setting of the art studio.


The word ‘sluff’ relates to small point release avalanches. Steep lines of descent can destabilise a weak layer lying near the surface of the snowpack causing a ‘sluff’ - a potentially hazardous cascade of loose powdery snow. This could also be understood in relation to psychoanalysis, where a ‘descent’ often causes internal psychic structures that might have felt solid to become de-stabilised, giving rise to a feeling of ‘falling.


These digested experiences become physically manifest in the works, sometimes robust, at other times appearing fragile and near to collapse.


David MacDiarmid's Process


My practice explores the intermediary zones which lie between the boundaries of subject areas. I draw from sources such as geometric theory, domestic design history and making practices to create my abstract works. I interrogate the idea of forms which can appear to be in semi or partial states of existence, never fully being part of one definition or another.


Cutting, creasing, tearing, assembling. Crafting spurs the notion that these objects may have been made for a purpose, but their forms suggest they could be some type of scientific model, or an unidentified industrial remnant.


The process of making is laid bare. Touch forms a connection, as a record of making and as memory of these everyday materials which we have experienced. The chosen materials are pushed to their limits, they are made to perform new tasks within sculpture, they crack, bend, disconnect.


Drawing my palette from the everyday; pedestrian materials, the stuff which surrounds us, I use its inherent familiarity as an invitation to engage with the work. We are invited to discover these materials in new ways, in these pseudo-scientific forms which begin to establish their individual identities, and create for themselves their own uncanny nomadic personalities.

 Director : Rebecca Fairman    |   Tel: 07713 189249    |   |   © arthouse1 2019

Gallery opening hours - Thursday - Sunday 3pm - 7pm or by appointment