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Meet Kate Mullock
IN CONVERSATION WITH
Meet Kate Mullock
30th May 2024
Kate Mullock is a botanical artist based in South West London working in the cyanotype medium, her work is inspired the natural world and her love for bringing the outdoors in. Find a sofa to sink into, grab a cup of coffee, and read on to find out a little bit more about Kate, her loves, and her work. 

Kate's Work

Kate creates natural compositions using real plants, leaves and flowers on textured Cotton Khadi paper. The Cyanotype print process creates a beautiful soft graphic image of the botanical subject in creamy white against a painterly background in stunning shades of blues, teals and aquas. Each piece is completely unique!

Who and what inspires you in your work?

I am totally inspired by nature and the beautiful plants, flowers and leaves all around me: in gardens, hedgerows, fields, the beach. Everywhere I go I take my camera to take close ups and scissors to snip a few samples. I’m always looking for and inspired by the natural, organic shapes, the way something grows or unfurls and then I try to replicate that in loose nature inspired compositions when I come to make a print. I like my work to look wild and free rather than stiff and arranged like a lot of classic botanical art is.

Is there a work of your own you are most proud of? If therehere a story or process behind it?

My prints are made using the cyanotype method. Photosensitive chemicals are painted onto paper and a composition is created on the paper. When exposed to the sun’s rays plus a few other secret ingredients, the magic happens and an image of the plant or flower appears on the paper. I typically leave my prints out in the elements for at least 24 hours for the alchemy to happen. Then I wash with water and over the next 24 hours the colours develop - a gorgeous array of warm blues and green/blues create a painterly background that’s a bit like watercolour and the subject is creamy white against it. No two prints are ever the same and can never be replicated - they are all one of originals.

The larger the paper , the better the print in my opinion - they have more drama, and the compositions are larger scale - these are the prints I’m most proud of.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

I love using my hands to create things and making a print is like flower arranging on paper. I spend a long time creating a composition that both looks natural and showcases the plant without it looking too crowded or squashed on the paper - the background and some quiet space is also so important to the final picture. So I do some gentle pruning and subtle shaping to the leaves/flowers I’m using to create an arrangement that looks amazing. I choose the right stems, leaves etc to make a beautiful shape with a feeling that’s right  for the subject.

For example, I’m currently working on a collection using seaweed, so I want each front to look like it’s gently swaying in an underwater current, rather than just being spread out straight and flat.

As an interiors brand, we'd love to know about your own home interiors style?

I’m own style has always been inspired by nature in terms of colours,textures and materials - I like a mixture of old and new and a bit of ‘controlled clutter/stuff’ - so lots of books, plants, candles , decorative objects. I’m definitely not a minimalist but I try to be disciplined about what comes into a room - it has to fit with everything else.

I have recently moved to Devon - having lived in London for over 30 years. I now live in Georgian farmhouse surrounded by fields and rolling hills - I feel the definite urge to use soft natural colours everywhere so as not detract from the views - my prints are perfect in this setting. It’s a great opportunity to buy a few new pieces of furniture, art and remix all my belongs in different rooms - they look new again.

Do you have any big home renovation projects planned or fun interior design ideas you’d like to share?

I am currently working with a printer to scale up a regular sized print as large as it will go to create giclee fine art prints. Currently I have a foxglove print and a cow parsley print at A1 size which looks amazing - I’m going to frame them for my sitting room. The next step is to go even larger to create a whole wall / wallpaper size that would look amazing as a feature wall - so dramatic!

Thank you Kate!

To find out more about Kate and her work, or for regular updates check out her instagram, and don't forget to visit her website!

You can view some of Kate's stunning pieces in The Gallery section on our website, if you would like to view a piece please contact our Fakenham HQ for more information.

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