This Mess is Kept Afloat

Kate V Robertson’s first solo exhibition in a UK institution presents a major installation of new sculptural work that draws our attention not only to the walls, but to the floor, ceiling and windows of our most expansive gallery space at DCA.

Robertson is known for creating environments and displays that often transform and shift over time. Rigorously exploring her chosen materials and the ways in which they can change, Robertson revels in the physical characteristics of the objects she creates, testing their structural qualities to their limits and uncovering what lies at their material core. Ideas of instability, dysfunction, waste and decay pervade her work, particularly in relation to how we experience these sensations in urban environments.

In this new body of work Robertson focuses on the use of rectangular shapes across different surfaces, playing with the appearance of depth often created by optical illusions and geometric designs. These formal concepts hint at patterns and configurations associated with city spaces, while also specifically referencing the flatness and groundlessness of our increasingly screen-based lives.

This Mess is Kept Afloat thoughtfully disrupts the ways in which we engage with sculpture, deliberately muddying the waters of the pristine white cube gallery by drawing in and amplifying certain aspects of the outside world. Robertson deftly combines ideas of the external and internal in this exhibition to create a conceptually intricate and sensually rich experience for anyone willing to cross the threshold.

Review by Tom Emery in Art Monthly: AM KVR AL review Feb 18