Kate Fitzharris — Biography
Kate Fitzharris (b. 1974, Wellington, New Zealand), completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Dunedin School of Art, with a major in ceramics, in 1994. She has held a number of residencies, including: Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park [Japan], 2019; Tylee Cottage [Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui] (2018); and Doris Lusk Residency [Risingholme Community Centre, Christchurch] (2017). Among her other honours, she was a finalist for the 2019 Wallace Arts Trust Awards, and received Portage Ceramic Merit Awards in 2014, 2010 and 2002. The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park Foundation, the Dowse, the James Wallace Arts Trust, and the Waikato Museum include her work in their collections. Her ceramic figures have been shown at galleries across New Zealand, including solo exhibitions at Masterworks Gallery, Sarjeant Gallery, the Lopdell House Gallery and the Blue Oyster Art Project Space, among others. Kate’s primary medium is ceramics, though she also explores the use of ‘found materials’, such as vintage fabric and wild clay. Typically constructing small-scale, often anthropomorphic, objects, the artist asks viewers to look closely, to examine her diminutive creations in all their intricate detail of surface, colour and shape –– ultimately to reflect upon how contemporary culture rarely encourages us to engage with the subtleties of our environment and its ever-proliferating collection of mass-produced, characterless objects.