Kate Scardifield is a visual artist and researcher with an interdisciplinary and experimental studio practice. Her work has been shown extensively throughout Australia and is regularly exhibited overseas.
Kate’s research interests lie at the intersection of museology, public collections, contemporary art and design. Traversing textiles, sculpture, installation and video, she likens her art practice to a process of anatomical enquiry; mining history for intersecting systems and patterns that culminate in re-imaginings of the body, site and space.
Her recent projects have featured in Art Forum, Frieze, Australian Art Collector, Museum Magazine, Artlink, Das Platforms and Textile Fibre Forum. Kate is a Freedman Scholar, previous recipient of the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship and has received multiple project grants from the Australian Council for the Arts. Kate has participated in invitational residency programs in Australia, India, France, Mexico and the U.K, and is continuing to build professional networks and institutional partnerships at a national and international level.
At UTS, Kate is a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Design, teaching in first and second-year subjects across design history, design thinking and design futures. In addition, Kate lectures in the Fashion and Textiles program in second-year theory and Honours Dissertation.
Kate was a 2017 Research Fellow at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and currently serves on the Artist Advisory Group at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia. Ley Lines, a significant solo exhibition of her work, is touring across Scotland in 2017/18, curated by Panel (Glasgow) and partnering with Heriot Watt University, Fife Contemporary, Live Borders and Falkirk Community Trust.
Can supervise: YES
Subject Coordinator, Researching Design History, Interdisciplinary Design
Lab A, Interdisciplinary Design
Fashion, Gender and Identity, Fashion and Textiles
Honours Dissertation, Fashion and Textiles
Scardifield, KA 2017, 'The Collection As Constellation: Cosmic Tapestries and Bodies of Knowledge', MAAS Magazine, vol. 120, no. Winter, pp. 38-41.
This article details my research of objects and ephemera linked to the former Governor of New South Wales and Scottish astronomer Thomas Brisbane (1773–1860). As a Research Fellow at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) in 2017, the Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Observatory opened its stores to me and unlocked its display cabinets containing 19th-century objects brought to Australia by Brisbane. This included a refracting telescope made by Banks of London, a Kater Azimuth compass and part of a Troughton mural circle, which had been transported from Brisbane's private observatory in Largs, Scotland, to Australia's first observatory on the grounds of Government House in Parramatta in the early 1800s. These astronomical objects used by Brisbane and his assistants Carl Rümker and James Dunlop to chart and map the southern sky have informed the development of a new body of work and exhibition, Ley Lines.
Scardifield, KA 2010, 'Making and Maintaining Space – Artist-Run Initiatives Negotiating Compliance', un Magazine, vol. 4, no. 2.
Scardifield, KA 2018, 'Soft Topologies', Soft Topologies, UTS ART, UTS Gallery, UTS ART; SCA Galleries, University of Sydney.
Soft Topologies is a creative research project that encompasses adaptable textiles, interactive sculpture, video installation and loaned objects from the collection of The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Australia (MAAS). This research is in the field of material culture, examining the intersection between relational aesthetics and archival object ecologies.
Soft Topologies was funded by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Two iterations of the creative work were publicly exhibited, at UTS Gallery for the 2018 Sydney Design Festival, and at SCA Gallery, University of Sydney were it was nominated for the 2018 Fauvette Loureiro Award.
Scardifield, KA 2017, 'Ley Lines', Ley Lines, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) (as part of the exhibition 'Microgravity'); St Andrews Museum; Hawick Museum; Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival; Callendar House, Falkirk (touring).
Ley Lines is a body of work spanning textiles, video and sculpture, including a series of digital prints on velvet and silk produced in collaboration with the School of Textiles and Design, Heriot Watt University (U.K.). This research is in the field of material culture, museums and civic collections.
By employing a celestial metaphor to examine and reimagine collection material, the research uncovered significant artefacts including union banners and maritime signal flags held across six distinct museum collections, and a number of astronomical instruments brought to Australia from Scotland in the 19th Century by the astronomer and former Governor of NSW, Thomas Brisbane (1773-1860). The resulting body of work explores connections and traces previously unseen thread lines between Scotland and Australia through textiles, film and sculpture.
This project was funded by Creative Scotland (U.K) and awarded a Research Fellowship with the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS) and Sydney Observatory. Exhibition outcomes were curated by Dr Andrew Jacob as part of Microgravity at the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences in 2017. The video work 'High Noon' was selected for exhibition and screened as part of the Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival (U.K. 2018). A solo exhibition curated by Catriona Duffy and Lucy McEachen (Panel, U.K) was presented at St Andrews Museum, Hawick Museum and Callendar House, touring over 2017/18.
Scardifield, KA 2016, 'When moving through ruins', When moving through ruins, Glasshouse Regional Gallery, UNSW Galleries, University of New South Wales (2014); ALASKA Projects (solo, 2015); Anna Pappas Gallery (2016); Spring 1883 (2016); The Glasshouse, Port Macquarie Regional Gallery (solo, 2016).
When moving through ruins is a collection of new work by Kate Scardifield.
This exhibition attempts to create a space for speculation and slow breathing across a series of interconnected and relational forms than span sculpture, installation, textiles and video.
Exploring perceptions of time, cross cultural mythologies and the body's relationship to cloth, When moving through ruins traces the soft folds and shifting states of being that can materialise between convergence and collapse.
Scardifield, KA 2015, 'Base Matter', Base Matter, ALASKA Projects.
Scardifield, KA, 'Locating the pulse', Locating the pulse, The Cube, Mosman Art Gallery.
Tsai, J, 'System of Objects', Rayner Hoff Project Space, National Art School, National Art School.
Curated by Dr Jaime Tsai, System of Objects is an exhibition that explores the logic of collection and display. How might consuming from a hierarchy of commodities determine our sense of individuality and our social position? What roles do carefully arranged artefacts in museum taxonomies, or the repetition of certain art objects in collections, exhibitions, and media coverage, play in the acquisition and justification of knowledge? These object 'systems' invisibly structure everyday life, perpetuating inequalities, and concealing prejudice and desire. In this exhibition, the vibrant and diverse collections of eight artists are shown alongside artefacts from the National Art School archives, and 'objective' categorisations and wall texts are abandoned in favour of new modes of looking, interpreting, and knowing.
Scardifield, KA 2014, 'Into theatre, under the knife: cultures of dissection and contemporary art practice'.