Katherine Bull
Fine Art Department
University of Stellenbosch
Privatebag X1
Matieland, 7602
South Africa
tel: 021 808 35 87
cell: 072 133 2006                 

Exhibition/Performance Project: "data capture: in the field" a series of prints and performance

ON Gallery, Poznan, Poland Friday September 9th from 16:00-18:00
Slawek Sobczak, Coordinator
Contact Information:

This body of work is an extension of my ongoing critical interrogation of the printed record through exploring the printing process as subject. In previous work I have mainly manipulated historical examples of printed records and printing processes, in order to critique their relevance as cultural currency in a contemporary South African context. For this exhibition I wanted to break from the endless cycle of re-manipulating existing visual information and play with the notion of starting the cycle afresh by using the digital interface of computer software to draw portrait images from life. I wanted to bring the artist face to face with the subject using a computer, which often involves a secondary engagement with visual information. As with previous work I explore elements of scale and time, fact and fiction in printed representation and its potential for orientation/disorientation in relation to the viewer, but this time I work with the colour digital print as the print process and output.ExhibitionData is a series of miniature digitally constructed portraits, drawn from life. Starting with a single pixel brush (chosen as the basic building block in the visual interface of data), I draw an image of the sitter in front of me first in yellow, then magenta and cyan in separate layers in Photoshop (computer program designed mainly for manipulating existing visual data). I have integrated the colour separation into the process of observational drawing as a technical challenge, but also as a means to reduce all the portraits to the same units of colour. The separate colour layers of the digital image are then printed separately over each other. The final colour mixing takes place through the physical printing process, which is different to the digital image visible on the computer screen. Each portrait print has been embossed using a compact disc as embossing dye.  The CD shape frames each portrait, referring to their digital origin and a formal reference to their ambiguous status as ‘icons’.Catalog is a large-scale self-portrait created through the same process as Data, yet the basic drawing units become all the Data portraits. As the single pixel determines the scale of the Data portraits, their scale in turn determines the scale of the Catalog and the data visibly grows exponentially. The massive self-portrait is both confrontational and expositional of an intense process of self-evaluation through hours and hours of mirror gazing.PerformanceAs an extension of my recent exhibition Data in which I set up an installation in the gallery (the Arena) for drawing and printing the digital portraits, I propose a ‘live/life drawing’ performance for the conference. The performance would be a portable setup for the artist, laptop, pigment printer and the ‘sitter’. I propose that the ‘sitter’ would be chosen through a ‘lottery’ process. Invitations would be sent/emailed to all delegates before the conference. Those delegates who take up the invitation would be eligible for the ‘lottery draw’. The performance would last approximately 2 hours.

KATHERINE BULL is an artist living and working in Cape Town, South Africa. In 1995 she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Art degree, majoring in Printmaking, at the University of Cape Town and in 1998 was awarded a Master of Fine Art degree, with distinction from the same institution. In 1999 Bull held her first solo exhibition showcasing work completed for her masters degree and new work at the Association for Visual Arts Metropolitan Gallery, Cape Town. The work was supported by her dissertation entitled, "Positioning the Cape: A Spatial Engraving of a Shifting Frontier." Text from the thesis and work from this show formed part of the Nicolaas Verghunst’s curated exhibition "Hoerikwaggo Images of Table Mountain", which was on view at the South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2001). In her masters work Bull researched and critically explored elements of spatial and temporal representation in colonial prints of the Cape from the 15th century to the present. Her most recent notable project is a public sculpture "Come to Pass" conceived and produced in collaboration with artist Fritha Langerman. As winners of the 3rd Cape Town Public Sculpture Competition in 2002 the work was installed last January at the intersection of St. George’s Mall and Shortmarket Street. "Come to Pass" is a flat public monument to the woman of Cape Town, but also forms a more complex investigation of the construction of history through different models: the official record – the archive; the oral record  - the anecdotal; and history as an invention – a fiction.  Bull is currently lecturing in Fine Arts at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa