Anatomy of Haste

Artist, Kate Downie, RSA, has a unique insight into international human travel and the means and effects of ‘the world on the move’.

The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh is devoting its Festival Exhibition to Kate’s work.

Kate, an American-born Scot of UK parentage (who has lived here since the age of 7), has exhibited extensively in the UK and beyond – Australia, Norway, Holland, France and the USA. She has studied ink painting and contemporary culture in China, including with the Master Calligrapher in Beijing.

The fascination she has with human travel has been inspired by recent journeys through Australian river estuaries, Japanese train systems and American highways, as well as closer to home with the new Forth Road crossing. This travel is intensely reflected in this dramatic exhibition. Titled ‘The Anatomy of Haste’, Kate’s work depicts human movement and migration. It explores the effect people have on the environment through the process of building and industrialisation of so much of the modern-day world.

Kate’s work has been very aptly described by, among others, Kapka Kasssabova, author of ‘Border: a journey to the edge of Europe (Granta 2017), as compelling; ‘Framed views of a natural or man-made world in unstoppable flux capturing the stages of her own journey towards stillness.’ Kapka’s statement, that the anatomy of human haste can be stripped to its bare bones and in order to do this and achieve this level of perception, the artist in turn strips herself of her ego, her own haste, is particularly relevant. Kapka goes on to say: ‘These exquisite fragments from our shared, precarious time on earth remind us to continue on our way with more care.’

In Kate’s words: ‘Humans, they get everywhere. We think we are going places but actually it is the substance of our journeys within we spend so much of our lives, that have created the most indelible monuments to our existence.’ She adds, ‘I am inspired by the ingenious and ubiquitous acts of engineering amidst the seas, mountains and the envelope of air, concrete asphalt, steel, glass and plastic, to my mind in the image of their own bodies that carries our movement and migration across planet earth.

Among Kate’s many thanks and acknowledgements which have made this exhibition come together she pays tribute to: ‘My thanks to Michael Wolchover, my fellow traveller in life and constant support, who photographed the works.’

The exhibition continues until 2 September 2017.

The Edinburgh Gallery, 16 Dundas Street, Edinburgh. Tel 0131 558 1200. Email

Opening times: Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday 10 am to 4 pm. Sunday CLOSED.


About Christine Richard OBE FRSA Christine has over 25 years' experience in public life in Scotland in the fields of politics, education, public relations and charity work. For 12 years she served on the City of Edinburgh District Council and was her Group's leader for 4 years. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1992 she was made an OBE. Christine is a member of the Board of The Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy. She has just completed six years on the Board of The Edinburgh International Festival. Christine's business experience has covered the fields of theatre, economic development, science, coal mining, education and training. She has held a number of non-executive directorships in these disciplines. She is a trained and experienced personal relationships counsellor and a business and personal mentor. In 2005 Christine established Christine Richard Associates who undertake Event Management and Public Relations as well as company and individual profiling. She coordinated the 'Yes to Edinburgh' campaign on congestion charging in Edinburgh. ten years ago Christine co-founded West Lothian Women in Business, which is a network for women who are self-employed and also for women managers. Christine has now stepped down from the Chair of this thriving organisation. For 5 years Christine was a magistrate in the District Court. She was also a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on the appointment of Justices of the Peace. She has been an adviser to Government in various areas of policy, including health, local government and education. Christine is a trained and experienced radio and television broadcaster and writer as well as an entertaining and accomplished speaker. She has a wealth of topics on which she is invited to speak. These range from witty after lunch and after dinner speaking to the more serious topics of the economy, health, education, enterprise, the Powers of the Mind and Life/work balance. She writes reviews and articles for lifestyle magazine, Lothian Life. She took part as a contestant in an ITV gourmet TV show, Chef V Britain, challenging TV chef Gino D'Acampo to cook her signature dish, Posh Cottage Pie. Currently Christine is a member of the Goodison Group in Scotland and Scotland's Futures. Also she is involved in the group Changing the Chemistry of Scottish Boards. Her first novel, Whitewalls, a modern Scottish family saga has been published by New Generation Publishing and is available on all internet books siets and from libraries. She is writing a sequel Autumn at Whitewalls. Her leisure interests include her family, literature, music, theatre, food, wine and horse racing. She is a member of a racing syndicate, which has two horses in training.
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