Katrina Coombs 2019 May Artist-In-Residence
Katrina Coombs was born in St Andrew, Jamaica. She holds a BFA with Honours in Textiles and Fibre Arts (2008) and a Certificate in Curatorial Studies (2009) from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. In 2013, she obtained an MFA in Creative Practice from Transart Institute via The University of Plymouth. Coombs has a passion for fiber and an understanding of the sensitivity of threads and fabric which has grown beyond design and into sculptural forms. Her practice focuses on the impact of the Other on the “I”, through various psychoanalytical theory and the quintessence of gender politics of the Other. She weaves and stitches fibres and textiles into tactile and sometimes large-scale sculptural forms, engaging the sometimes ambivalent and stigmatizing ways society engages the female persona.
Fiber and weaving in all its forms captures the energies of a time and the experiences of women. Coombs’s work is an exploration into the notion of the woman’s body as a form of carriage, and how the womb becomes an unspoken voice of an Other for women’s existence and identity. She explores forms of intrusion in the constructed space and psychological space of fibrous vessels, similarly to the emotional intrusion of an Other, whether it be internal or external to the body; creating a sense of presence, absence and longing within. As human beings we live in anticipation of the reaction of Others and this anticipation creates beautiful conflict and turmoil as we attempt to meet the Others expectation neglecting the ‘I’. It is this emotional turmoil which drives her work as a woman coping with the expectations and demands of Others in conflict with her own desires and pain of experiences that are concealed and silenced. The process of creating becomes a form of healing and a form of transference.
Coombs’s work has been featured in many exhibitions such as; “Young Talent 2015” at the National Gallery of Jamaica, “Re-Frame Manila”, 2016 London Biennale Pollination art project in the Philippines, “Dimensions of Womanhood” at the 2016 Kingston on the Edge (KOTE) Urban Arts Festival, the “Jamaica Biennial” in 2014 and 2017 at the National Gallery of Jamaica, “3 Generations of Textile and Fibre Arts” in 2017 at the Grosvenor Gallery, Jamaica and, “Voyaging Towards The Future: Living Sculpture III” ICE 2018, CAG[e] Gallery, Jamaica. Coombs is also one of the co-founders of the art initiative Blaqmango Consultants, aimed at re-energizing the Jamaican art scene through exhibitions, residencies, artist career planning and the development of young upcoming artists. She was the recipient of the 2018 Davidoffe Art Initiative Residency at FLORA ars+natura Bogota. She lives and works in St. Andrew, Jamaica.