Kate Trafeli

Kate has lived most her life between worlds: growing up among the tumbleweeds of the Western United States, a cowgirl who longed for city lights and a sense history. She moved to Boston as a young woman then to New Orleans, later Los Angeles and onward to London and Northern Italy and back again. She received her degree in fine art (painting) and American and British literature in Washington State (US) with further studies at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.

Kate now lives and works out of her studio in Northern London. She is a dual British and American citizen. Having also lived 10 years in Italy, she speaks Italian fluently: this language and the history and culture of Italy influence her iconography and palette.

A merging of the abstract and figurative — normally conflicting ways of ‘seeing’ the world — is a significant aspect of Kate’s work. In her current body of works Kate works in colour theory, memory and structure: how colours interact and affect one another combined with composition to make a whole that is mysterious and transporting. She explores how we each instinctively relate to colour and shapes very strongly and individually.

Kate has synesthesia - a condition in which one sense or feeling is simultaneously perceived by one or more additional senses. In her case, colours signify feelings or memories. ‘Blue’ could feel happy and alive in the context of a work, ‘red’ could signify purpose and decision. Kate explores these concepts in several formats.

Kate describes her paintings as internal landscapes tracing memory, time and distance between people and places. How memory and emotion can make an experience or history seem very ‘present’ at some points or far away and vague at others. That experiences, histories, difficulties, decisions and journeys lead us to someplace else — very literally as well as figuratively. Kate’s works elicit wordless feelings of joy, wonder, happiness and depth in the viewer. Her work has been described as being simultaneously "beautifully simple and amazingly complex".