Katie Watson

Katie Watson
BA (Hons) Fine Art // Newcastle University ’18

Katie is based in North East of England. Her current practice examines the abstract qualities of banal forms in contemporary culture, the universal language of visual information, and how this is interpreted and processed.

Katie’s practice pursues a disjointed discourse, translating methods of ‘do it yourself’ assembly into painting, visually describing movements and processes which are ubiquitous and universally understood. Her work originates from an interest in entirely visual methods of communication, whereby linguistics are replaced with directional motifs. This vocabulary of forms includes arrows, dotted lines and speech bubbles.

Through the development of her own visual language, the constructed dialogues involve fragments of pure description, interrupted by areas of ambiguous, abstract shape. The paintings are essentially exercises in ‘gap filling’ as she provides only fragments of information. These elements take the form of visual descriptions of single specific properties, such as an outline, colour, or texture. This fragmented schematisation creates an interrupted logic in her work.

Constructed on bare birch plywood, her paintings celebrate the inherent qualities of this traditional construction material upon which she explores diagrammatic form and mechanical language. Her process involves the accumulation of diagrammatic information found in instructional flat-pack furniture booklets, vehicular maintenance manuals, and model construction kits. Watson then reinterprets fragments of this information through painting, multi-dimensional assemblages and dysfunctional objects.

As well as re-appropriating found diagrammatic imagery, Katie designs and produces her own every-day, functional objects and from this develops her own instruction manuals. The constructed object is never exhibited, giving the paintings a vague objecthood as they negotiate between image and object. This play of formal values creates equivalencies between instruction and abstract form.

Since graduating, Katie has been shortlisted for the Woon Foundation Painting and Sculpture prize, and was also featured in the Saatchi Invest in Art Report (2018). She has participated in a number of exhibitions across the North of England, in addition to having experience of assisting several artists with exhibition and event planning tasks.


Oil on birch plywood
100 x 100 cm

Oil on plywood
42 x 60 cm


2014 – 2018
BA (Hons) Fine Art, First Class Honours, Newcastle University.

2013 – 2014
Foundation Diploma Art and Design, Distinction, University of Sunderland.


​HOT NEW IT, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.
​Lucky Dip!
, Air Gallery, Altrincham, Greater Manchester.

Processes, Citizen’s House, Consett, County Durham.
Industrialised: Art in Manufacturing in the Gallery, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery.
Midsummer Show, Bistro Du Parc, Tynemouth.
Four Pack, System Gallery, Newcastle.
Ones to Watch 2019, Sunny Bank Mills, Yorkshire

Woon Foundation Painting and Sculpture Prize Shortlist Exhibition, Gallery North, Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Newcastle University External Degree Show, Copeland Park, London.
Degree Show, Newcastle University.
Methods of Construction, Newcastle University Atrium.

Interim Show, Newcastle University.
Sitting This One Out, Newcastle University.
Colour Exploration, Newcastle University Atrium.

Cross Year Crit, Long Gallery, Newcastle University.
Testing Grounds, Hoults Yard, Byker, Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Repetition and Difference, Long Gallery, Newcastle University.

5.12 Open Studios, Newcastle University.
Fail Better, The NewBridge Project, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

First Year Painting Strand, 36 Lime Street, Ouseburn, Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Art and Design Foundation Final Show, National Glass Centre, Sunderland.
Art and Design Foundation Interim Show, National Glass Centre, Sunderland.


2018 – Present
Arcadea Arts


Woon Foundation Painting and Sculpture prize, shortlisted.

Other Experience

Work Experience

2018 – Present
Volunteer Artist and Studio Holder, Arcadea Disability Arts, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Work Shadowing, Art and Design Foundation Diploma course, the National Glass Centre, Sunderland.
Installation Artist Assistant, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Herculaneum and Pompeii.
Ceramic Artists Assistant, Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Artist Assistant, Baltic 39, Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Artist Assistant, The Producers Part II: New Perspectives on Curating, Newcastlw Upon Tyne.

2016 – 2017
Tour Guide, Newcastle University.
Invigilator, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University.


The New Bridge Project
Art Reveal Magazine
INDUSTRIALISED: Art in Manufacturing in the Gallery
Saatchi Invest in Art Report
Shortlist for Woon Prize 2018 revealed
Northumbria University Newcastle