Katy Cole and Iris Priest

 Please tell us who you are and what you’ve been working on recently.

KC:  am an artist and maker, concerned with notions of future worlds/habitats working in collage, drawing, and installation. My most recent project was an exhibition at Middlesbrough Art Weekender in October in response to a residency at Auxiliary project space in January/February 2021.

IP: I am an artist, writer, ecofeminist involved in projects (re)connecting communities through nature, magick and folk culture from herbal lore and storytelling to seed saving and shamanism. Earlier this year I made the album artwork for HENKI a new collaborative project between the artists Richard Dawson (UK) and Circle (Finland) released on 21 November 2021.

What drew you to each other’s practice?

KC: Iris is an artist, writer, and prolific reader, she has a wealth of in-depth knowledge concerning the myriad themes connecting to and hastening climate change. I am eager to learn more from her and submerge myself in her writing and ideas and create visual responses. Collaboration has always been an important part of my practice and I have developed several projects and working relationships in conjunction with other artists. We have overarching themes in our work in common. I am excited by the opportunity to combine and intersect our ideas in an evolving cycle of production and to see how this develops and takes our practice(s) in new directions.

IP: Katy’s and my practices have a number of overlapping modes (miniature drawing/painting; concern with the intimate/handmade; chance and found imagery; collage/DADA); as well as some shared ideas and concerns but what I see in Katy’s practice, and what draws me to her work (more than our similarities) are the things which make her practice unique: the exquisite level of detail and complexity which she achieves in creating whole universes from humble materials and repeated actions; her sense of humor; her blending of the micro and macro, the sacred and the profane; the way she enfolds different voices and perspectives in her works; and the ways in which she takes painting and collage beyond the two-dimensional page and into the world. I feel a kind of enchantment and exhilaration whenever I see Katy’s work and I have a great deal to learn from her, both technically and creatively.

How will you use the 1:1 FUND?

We are going to use the 1:1 FUND to spend time working together in the studio/workshop researching and developing a collaborative project (potentially practice) exploring our shared interests of world/nest building; plant intelligence; healing fictions; and prefigurative protest in the context of climate change and the Chthulucene. This is an amazing opportunity for us to work together through different ideas and challenges, to develop personal and collective resilience in the context of climate catastrophe.

Why did you choose the idea you will be working on?

Because resistance to the colonisation of Mother Earth – whilst developing resilient communities of learning, mutual support and care in the face of the climate crisis – feels like the most important work we can be doing.








Katy Cole, "They Used to Call it the Moon", (Wall collage installation), 2015. Image: John-Mckenzie/BALTIC
Katy Cole, "They Used to Call it the Moon", (Wall collage installation), 2015. Image: John-Mckenzie/BALTIC
Iris Priest, "HENKI", (Pen & Ink), 2021. Image courtesy of the artist and Domino Records