This month on the Fallow journal Kate Rampling allows us to see through her eyes for a delicate moment ...

F: Your work conjures a delicate fragility yet is deeply dark. Are you trying to convey a particular message to the viewer or are you intrigued by this juxtaposition of emotion?

KR: Thank you for the thoughtful reading of my work! I would say both of those statements are true. I am interested in juxtaposing themes and emotions and yet my work is an expression of my inner world. Things feel held together as through a delicate balance and my mood tends to be on the melancholic side. But I’m also fascinated by beautiful things and their eventual decay. 

As for the message, it can vary depending on the body of work and yet the same themes do recur. These include the isolation one can experience being a woman in our society and yet the power we possess too, the subconscious, private rituals and our connection to nature.


F: We at Fallow adore luxurious fabrications and were instantly drawn to your ethereal photographs of cloth. What inspired you to explore fabric in this manner?

KR: I feel subconsciously drawn to certain visuals and symbols. Mystery and the unknown have always held a fascination for me and I want this mystery to remain in my photographs. Through draping objects and people in cloth, there exists a distance between the viewer and the imagery that opens up room for contemplation. It also represents the supernatural which was a great source of existential dread for me as a child, through various experiences. Aside from that, there is the obvious material aspect of it; the beauty of cloth and drapery and it's connotations through art history.


F: You recently worked with musician Sam Haven on his album art for Eden. When did you initially connect with Sam and how did flora as your chosen subject come into fruition to coincide with his new music?

KR: Sam initially contacted me last year having seen my photographs of flowers with the intention of using them for ‘Eden’. I always loved the idea of gaining inspiration from music to create cover art and I hope to work on projects like that in the future. However, in this case I shot a few more images of flora to create more options, but we ended up going with the original choice. I can see why Sam chose the imagery he did though; the word Eden conjures the picturesque and romantic. A paradise or the Garden of Eden. Additionally, both of our artistic practices explore the darker side of existence and we’d followed each other’s work for some time online. It seemed like the natural next step.

 F: We imagine the abundant landscapes of New Zealand would be a constant source of inspiration for you. Where do you like to spend time in nature to reconnect and how does this environment encourage your artistic vision?

KR: New Zealand has inspired me a great deal. Both Australia and New Zealand have a rich history in art of the Gothic landscape that I definitely identify with. Films such as ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ and ‘The Piano’ are great examples of this. It’s hard not to be inspired by the black sands of Piha and Karekare. People and nature have always been connected in my work, in that it is something primal that gives us strength and renewal. The fact that we as a whole do not take care of it proves how self destructive we really are. Dichotomies such as this inform my work and demonstrate why there is always a dark side to the beautiful and picturesque.


Images courtesy of Kate Rampling from her series 'Secret Ceremony'.