Kate Newby

b. 1979, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Lives and works in Floresville, Texas


Kate Newby
Kate Newby, Swift little verbs pushing the big nouns around, 2017. Photo: Simon Cole



Kate Newby is known for her site-responsive works, which are inserted directly into exhibition spaces, architecture, and surrounding areas. Her handmade sculptural interventions simultaneously connect and contrast with their environments. Often working in glass and ceramics, she draws out the physical and poetic qualities of materials, highlighting a perceptual awareness that encourages viewers to consider the relationship between people and the environment in which the sculpture exists.

Deliberately situating her practice in the historical framework of land art, Newby takes an urban feminist perspective on this male dominated artistic field. She offers a rebuttal to the male domination by being preoccupied with creating and underlining a much more fluid, fleeting relationship with sites and materials. She often makes works that are designed to collect the debris of the natural space they exist in, to be thrown into the sea, or carried in the pocket of the owner. She tries to make her work as locally as possible, frequently collaborating with the help of local factories or craftspeople.

Underpinning Newby’s process is a performative ethos: she investigates the way material interventions made in response to a site’s particular temporal, physical and geographical conditions can be a means of transformation and intervention.