About kathryncampbelldodd

Artist living and working in west Wales

Wearing it…

‘The Coat’ has been hanging out in the Tannery now for a few weeks. During that time it’s visited Capel y Graig in Furnace with Jacob for a day out, it left a couple of buttons there with Avi Allen which have been on their own little journey too. It’s been busy absorbing thoughts and ideas…Dave found an inside-out approach to wearing it and immediately discovered a deep seated fashionista within.

I’ve been similarly effected. I’ve been trying to keep my thoughts and ideas open and fluid. I’ve been watching other people approaching the Tannery project and letting myself be influenced by their process and approach. It’s fascinating and scary I’ve found. Last Friday I spent a fantastic day with Roger, Mike and Dave playing art games in the space – setting rules and then working within them to alter and influence the objects in the gallery space. What a simple but rare thing to do. To spend the day with a handful of other artists and play – haven’t really done anything similar since I did my foundation a zillion years ago.

I’ve also been battling with myself…what’s acceptable? Is it ok to fail? Do I mind what other people think of me? How does this look from the outside? Do I trust these other artists? Is this worth investing in? WHY AM I DOING THIS? I’ve had a couple of days when I felt very insecure and negative about it…BUT I think I’m coming to understand a few really quite profound things about myself and my approach to making art. I have a few exciting ideas about what might happen in my own practice as a result.

On Sunday we meet all together and begin to finish this process at the Tannery. It will be such a short day…just a few hours with us all together, I’m fascinated and apprehensive and excited to see what we do.


All this talk of tanneries and skins has made me think about multiple personalities; other skins. My title comes from psychiatrist, R.D. Laing’s book on schizophrenia ‘The Divided Self’. It is a schematic he uses to describe the ‘false self’ system constructed by someone suffering from a schizophrenic disorder…

Here          There

Inside        Outside

Me              Not-me

I am interested in the boundaries of the perception of self – where does one person end and another begin. Our Tannery experiment obscures the boundaries between one artist and another, allows us to trespass into each others territory, alter and adjust our own and our co-curator/artists sense of their artwork.

I was also interested in Mike’s earlier discussion about Marx’s commodity fetishism. ‘The fetish’ whether seen as a Marxist, Freudian or anthropologicalterm, is an object for projection – it is imbued with our neuroses, desires and fears and in some ways could be described in a similar way to Laing’s schematic.

I want to introduce an object into the gallery which might be able to operate as a kind of ‘false self’ and as a fetish object. Ultimately, I hope that through its independent life during the process and development of our show it might collect and absorb its own particular energy and identity…

Kathryn Campbell Dodd