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Ditchling artist Kate Sherman

PUBLISHED: 11:35 10 November 2015 | UPDATED: 11:35 10 November 2015


Artist Kate Sherman welcomes Alice Cooke to her downland studio in Ditchling


Before creating art herself, Kate worked in a commercial gallery in London, surrounded by the work of others. “I travelled to art fairs and auctions in Europe and the US, and worked alongside some very influential and talented artists. This experience really informed and inspired the work that I am making now.”

If she were to offer advice to others wanting to become artists, she says that her path was a fantastic way in. “Go to galleries and museums and look at lots of art, and then when you do take the plunge, be prepared for a long haul.”

Kate has now been painting professionally for eight or nine years, and in that time counts a painting called 5pm as one of her favourite pieces. “It is a view of a house at dusk with one light on inside – it has a certain poignancy but without feeling too sentimental.”

Alongside the weekly children’s painting workshops that she has run from the Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft for a number of years, Kate also runs the occasional adult workshop, for those wanting to further their artistic experience.

A country girl at heart, Kate grew up on the coast in rural Dorset, and has lived in Sussex for the past 11 years, after deciding to move out of London. As a result, the Downs feature heavily in her work – “It is a subject that I keep coming back to, probably because they are right outside my back door and I see them every day cycling my kids to school and back.”

But as well as the Downs she lists films, photos, magazines, books and “fleeting images glimpsed from moving vehicles” among her inspirations.

Her career highlight came this summer, when she had a painting accepted into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. “It is the first time I have entered,” she says, “so I was really pleased to get in, and it was thrilling to see my work exhibited alongside revered Royal Academicians.”

Kate works from a lovely studio that her husband built for her in the garden. “It has north-facing reclaimed windows, a wood-burner which is essential in the winter and is a quiet refuge from busy family life.” 


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