by Viktoria Mladenovski
Katy Dove (1970 – 2015) studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, and besides creating artworks she was also involved in musical projects, e.g. her feminist experimental band Muscles of Joy. She worked for DCA when the gallery first opened and also had a performance with her band there.
Her thirteen displayed animations depict how Katy’s style has developed over the years. The other gallery room consists of her paintings, drawing and prints. What I noticed immediately is that the colours and shapes are important features of Katy’s works. They convey a certain atmosphere and thus it seems important how the colours and shapes appear in a certain space. Her works are reminiscent of childhood, being quite playful through the usage of soft colours, similar to her videos.
I am especially fascinated by her animations since they express Katy’s interest in the combination of visual art and sound. For two of her videos, October and Welcome, Muscles of Joy provided the soundtracks. October has this very distinctive sound, a combination of more natural sounds and music, and consists of photographs and shapes intruding in those photos. When I visited the exhibition I felt like I was in a meditative space. Luckily there were no other people around, making it even easier to being absorbed by the videos. The seating areas around the screens allow the visitor to be hypnotised by the animations. Another of her videos which was shown on the same screen reminded me of Joan Miró’s surrealist paintings. Katy uses similar shapes and colours for some videos as Miró did for his artworks.
It is definitely not one of those exhibitions where one visit is enough, with Katy’s animations I felt so immersed by the relaxing and even hypnotising sound and moving image, especially with her video Amanda (2006). I cannot clearly evoke the sound, but I do remember this soothing sound accompanied by various soft colours (especially light pink) and shapes (birdlike?), moving slowly and rhythmically within the screen. I was desperately trying to find it on the internet without success and even though I could find some of the others the same ambience could definitely not be recreated on a computer screen, which is another reason to visit the exhibition in person.