Interview: Glasgow-born sculptor Katie Paterson on her work's place in the world

‘My work as a whole considers our place on Earth in the context of geological time and change’

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Interview: Glasgow-born sculptor Katie Paterson on her work's place in the world

Courtesy of the artist and Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh

To hear Glasgow-born artist Katie Paterson discuss her works is to suspect that she may be on a different conceptual level from many of her contemporaries, or certainly that she creates art which strives to really say something, to make its mark as a definition of humanity’s position in the world. ‘My work as a whole considers our place on Earth in the context of geological time and change,’ she points out calmly, ‘attempting to create philosophical engagements between people and their natural environment.’

This GENERATION show, her first solo one in Scotland, illustrates this. It comprises materials relating to Second Moon, in which a fragment of moon rock has been sent on a months-long anti-clockwise orbit of the Earth by airfreight courier, and Campo del Cielo, Field of the Sky, which will see a fragment of meteorite launched by ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) back outside Earth’s orbit to the International Space Station. Other works include Timepieces (Solar System), a series of nine clocks showing the time on each planet in the solar system, and Fossil Necklace, an ornament carved of 170 fossils ranging from a dinosaur’s claw to a squid’s backbone, the oldest of them 3.5 billion years old. ‘These beads can be equated with a string of molecules,’ says Paterson, ‘carrying a code that tells the tale of life's journeys and our relationship with nature over billions of years.’

Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, Fri 27 Jun to Sat 27 Sep.

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