2013 marked a significant change for Kay when she undertook a residency at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Centre in Denmark, an inspiring experience that heralded a new direction for her practice. Explorations into new techniques of slip casting porcelain and soda wood firing resulted in the creation of Botanical Structures, a body of work in response to the Danish summer landscape. Combining oxidized and soda wood fired porcelain; each piece in the series is an assemblage of multiple components filling a linear space and has been exhibited in the UK and as part of European Ceramic Context 2014 in Denmark as well as commissioned privately.
The second body of this type of work is currently in process and will be exhibited at Shetland Museum and Archives April-June 2016. Kay has been collaborating with sound artist Joseph Young for the last two years on an ambitious new project merging craft and digital practices. The artists undertook a residency at Scalloway Booth in August 2015, during which they explored the landscape and soundscape of the Shetland Isles. Kay magnified images of plants she found using a digital microscope, providing the material for a new range of Shetland flora ceramics.
The result is a collaborative installation inspired by the work of John Cage entitled “In A Shetland Landscape”, after Cage’s famous composition “In A Landscape”. The exhibition explores the experience of being part of a landscape rather than simply observing it. This will be achieved through an immersive four channel sound installation that takes the listener on a sweeping journey through the unique sounds of land and sea; accompanied by a series of ceramic panels celebrating the indigenous “micro-flora” of the Shetland Isles, magnified to produce delicate designs of vibrant colour and texture.