London-born and based artist Katrina Palmer, is the National Gallery’s new Artist in Residence for 2024.
Born 1967 in London where she also now lives and works, Katrina Palmer’s practice encompasses sculpture, writing, drawing, audio environments, performance, and video.
Palmer is best known for her investigations of sculptural materiality, which often involve written compositions and site-specific recordings to explore histories of absence within landscapes or institutional spaces. Her commission End Matter for Artangel in 2015 saw her situated on the Isle of Portland where Portland stone is quarried. She produced an audio tour based on her writing during her residency on the isle which was turned into a play for Radio 4 and a publication.
Palmer has exhibited widely, including at Tate Britain, the Hayward Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and the Henry Moore Institute. In 2014, she was awarded the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists, and was shortlisted for the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award in 2015. She completed her PhD at the Royal College of Art in 2012 and this year received an honorary doctorate from the University of Sussex.
A third edition of her book The Dark Object (Book Works, London, 2010) was published this year. Palmer is an Associate Professor of Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art.
The award is a collaboration with the Contemporary Art Society, generously supported by Anna Yang and Joseph Schull, who will acquire an artwork produced during the residency for this year’s Partner Museum, Touchstones Rochdale.
Palmer’s work explores a range of spaces from island quarries to offices, prisons to coastal landscapes. Using objects, sound, writing and drawing she investigates the possibilities of sculpture through text and language. Previous projects have engaged with concepts of absence and dislocation within historic sites.
Palmer will begin her residency in December 2023 and will work over the course of a year in the National Gallery’s on-site artist’s studio, benefiting from the close proximity to the collection and archives. This will culminate in a publication and a presentation in autumn 2024, and an acquisition to Touchstones Rochdale.
Palmer has previously embedded herself within sites to develop her projects as an appealing prospect for both the National Gallery and Touchstones Rochdale. The artist's body of work impressed a prestigious panel consisting of Sorcha Carey, Rosie Cooper, Caroline Douglas, Sarah Hodgkinson, Liz Mytton, Elizabeth Price, and chair Daniel F. Herrmann, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Projects, the National Gallery, London.
The Artist in Residence programme invites a mid-career artist to develop their practice in the context of the museum and to benefit from unparalleled access to the Gallery’s collection. The partnership between the National Gallery and Touchstones Rochdale allows the artist to respond not only to one of the greatest collections of paintings in the Western European tradition, but also an outstanding collection in the borough of Rochdale covering a wide range of subjects, from visual art to archaeology, social history to costume and textiles. In a move to enrich regional collections, the residency enables a work by Palmer to travel to Rochdale, where it will be acquired by the Contemporary Art Society for Touchstones Rochdale’s permanent collection.
Palmer is the fourth Artist in Residence to be chosen since the launch of the Gallery’s new Modern and Contemporary Programme, following the appointment of Rosalind Nashashibi in 2019, Ali Cherri in 2021 and Céline Condorelli in 2022.
Katrina Palmer says: ‘I’m thrilled to have been selected as the National Gallery’s Artist in Residence. The spectacular imagery and narratives of the collection and the various movements of power at play are as intriguing as they are challenging. The prospect of working in the context of these artworks is genuinely exhilarating.’
For more information visit The National Gallery