About Cat Thompson
The type of work that isn’t controlled by the artist completely is the basis for Cat Thompson’s practice. Of course there will always be elements that have to be dictated by the artists hand. However the works Thompson enjoys and finds most interesting are those that leave an element of chance to the finished piece. Beshty is an excellent example with his Copper Surrogates and Fed-Ex Boxes. The ideas and parameters were all set in place, but he left the actual creation of the marks, which are essentially the works themselves, up to the process they were being created through.
The way Thompson thinks about her work is in terms of how best to explore a specific element of the processes she uses, typically traditional and alternative photographic processes. Thompson thinks about what they are used for and narrows down the basic elements to drive forward the way of making. Throughout the practice, Thompson’s work has had simple pleasing aesthetics, with the majority of her work being made through the darkroom. Some experiments with liquid emulsion brought out some unexpected colour, as well as her works exploring the liminal idea of an image on a piece of paper as a separate object.
A lot of Thompson’s decisions are based on the core ideas running through her work. Naturally she is driven by aesthetics to a certain degree, but what fascinates her about photography is the mechanics of the traditional processes. Each method and step in the processing of a photograph has a different view towards the finished article. Thompson identifies them, deciphers that process to discover its purpose. That’s what is used to decide the next step in each project.
With the current climate surrounding traditional darkroom photography, Thompson’s practice makes an interesting point towards contemporary debates. The focus on each specific element means her practice could easily be used within the debate about how relevant traditional photographic methods are in contemporary art today.
Thompson looks forward to progressing with her practice and developing the ideas and processes further.