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Kate Lepper

Shared Lines: Pūtahitanga exhibiting artist

Kate Lepper.I Am Not The Fiirst One Here

I Am Not The First One Here (2019) Layered tracing paper in found frame



Kate Lepper is currently based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa. Kate’s practice is sympathetic to the expanded field of painting working across installation, performance, drawing and digital media. Underpinned by what she calls Visual Nutrition, Kate explores tensions and collusions between subjective experience and social responsibility. Embracing the political economy of material alongside eco-feminist, post-colonial and psychedelic political theory, Kate’s experimental approach binds aesthetic formalist gestures to broader life-cycles and collectives, often through playful, pseudo-functional propositions.


Kate recently penned an essay in “History(s) of MEANTIME,” published by the University of Gloucestershire, U.K.  Read an excerpt of Kate’s essay, ‘“The Political Economy of Artistic Experimentation: MEANTIME, Money & Me”, below.  The full book is available online at


“If in fact financial struggle was necessary to the creative process, you’d think it might be easy to prove a natural propensity for creatives to equally take financial risks as well as creative risks. However, the opposite is true. While there is a direct correlation between creative risk-taking and the domain of social risk-taking, there is no such proven link with the domain of financial risk-taking. Even entrepreneurial myth-busting itself accepts we all need enough money to avoid being distracted by our financial situation and free us to focus on being creative… 


As well as needing adequate funding to take risks, despite what the rock-climbing, competitive individual of corporate creativity is selling, creatives also can’t do it alone. Artists and their risk-taking thrive in connected trusted networks…  The political economy of artistic experimentation is further complicated by the fact that while risk-taking needs financial stability to thrive, it cannot be motivated by financial gain… 


The evidence is clear, the equation for greatest creative experimentation and risk-taking = stable financial resourcing + artistic autonomy + social connection.”

Kate has a BFA (High Distinction) from Quay School of Arts, Whanganui UCOL, and a MFA (Distinction) from the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Exhibitions include: 24/7: A Wake-up Call For Our Non-Stop World, (with Nastja Säde Rönkkö) Embankment Galleries, Somerset House, London, (2019-20); National Contemporary Art Award, Waikato Museum, Hamilton, (2019); Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness, Hayward Gallery Touring Company, Belfast, Dundee, Manchester, (2017-18); Performance Compost, Kiasma National Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland (2012).


Shared Lines: Pūtahitanga 2020


Visual Vitamins (2020)



Visual Vitamins provides a visual immune boost for viewers in this time of COVID. A celebration of physical presence, VV is a tactile adventure playground for the eyes, a haptic garden of textures, an exercise park for eye health.

During COVID-19 physical contact has been heavily restricted. It has foregrounded how hard it is to fully replicate face-to-face experience and how important that contact is in maintaining health and a coherent sense of reality. Reaching out via screens for contact with friends, family and work, is a welcome reprieve and a convenient substitute. But even though our minds readily accept the digital screen’s warm, glowing, flattened space, extended periods of screen-time exposes us to risk of physical side-effects. VV provides an antidote via Web MD’s advice to spend time perceiving real-world, three dimensional depth, volume and distance.

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