Katie Paterson | Studio

artists, Katie Paterson

The concepts behind Katie Paterson’s practice take her all around the globe, transforming her studio from Berlin to nomadic at times.

For her work Future Library, she made her way up north to Oslo where a forest has been planted ready to supply the paper for 100 new texts to be printed in 100 years time, in 2114.

A secretive artwork with an uncertain future audience who will receive what could be a beautiful gift from the past.

Katie Paterson_Future Library_PRESS



artists, Katie Paterson

A mirrorball of over 10,000 solar eclipses rotates to create a sparkling progression of the eclipse across a room.

The images make up nearly every solar eclipse documented by humankind, from total through to quarter and half eclipses.


A beautiful spectacle of the sun eclipsing the moon.



Katie Paterson

Totality, 2016

A mirrorball of every solar eclipse (mixed media)

Edition of 3

83 x 83 x 83 cm

Installation view, The Lowry, Manchester, 2016




Photograph: Ben Blackall

Image courtesy the Artist/ The Lowry, Manchester/ Ingleby, Edinburgh

and per se and: part IV – Katie Paterson & Laurence Sterne

Katie Paterson

Currently on show at Ingleby Gallery is Paterson’s exhibition ‘and per se and: part IV’. Dissimilar to the display of her work in Between poles and tides, her work at Ingleby is being shown as a ‘rolling sequence’ of exhibitions, where two pieces are paired against each other, and exchanged every two weeks.

The exhibition is on show for 12 months, and is shared between both Paterson and Laurence Sterne

Paterson presents All the Dead Stars, a work of art etching the death of each star in our Universe, while Sterne presents The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Volume One of a modernist novel.


Image courtesy of Ingleby Gallery




Katie Paterson

Notions of perpetuity and longevity have long been crucial aspects for art and its makers. Precious art objects are understood to have longer lifespans than ourselves. The genre of portraiture, whether of antique sculptures or Tudor court painting, was built around the (somewhat egotistic) need and desire for patrons to be looked at and known long after their death. Even Northern Renaissance altar pieces (think Jan Van Eyck and Rogier van der Wyden), made for the Christian devotion of God, often included the painted portraits of the donors, to be remembered in the prayers of the Church goers. In her playing with timescale of an artwork, as in the case of ‘Future Library’, Paterson does something entirely different. Instead, the viewer (without anything to see just yet) is confronted by the brevity of his or her life, with an aim to encourage thoughts beyond the self, turning instead to the lifespan (and the survival) of the species, the earth, the solar system.

Read Rowland Manthorpe’s article for the Atlantic, The Value of Art No One Alive Will Ever Experience, for more thoughts on this subject: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/06/future-library-century-camera-art/395675/

The Sound Of

artists, Katie Paterson

The use, application and exploration of sound has played an important, if somewhat under acknowledged role throughout both modernism and postmodernism.

Beginning with the infamous composition of John Cage’s ‘4″33‘ (1982), silence was used as artistic medium as an invitation to listen to all sounds both natural and man-made. Cage’s explorations into the function of sonic interventions within art set about a generation of sound artists; Annea Lockwood, Bill Fontana, La Monte Young, MaryAnne Amacher, Bernhard Leitner, Max Neuhaus. These artists began a long and far reaching journey into the limits of sound when used within sculpture, exhibitions and public space.

Bill Fontana was a pioneer of the term ‘sound sculpture’. A process of using naturally occurring sounds to pose interventions into public space.

Image courtesy of Tate

His Harmonic Bridge (2006), was an installation installed at the Millennium Bridge, London which used vibration sensors to reveal the innumerable hidden sounds of the bridge.

In a different fashion, Bernhard Leitner, used the gallery, rather than the public space to create sounds installations or ‘sound-space-objects’. His work is often refereed to as sound architecture, using sound to create spatial models of geometry.

Katie Paterson is one such artist who uses sound to create and sculpt sonic interventions within the exhibition space and beyond.

A number of her previous projects have explored the use and appropriation of sound when taken from its natural context….


Every Night About This Time

A series of occurrences, simultaneous happenings/events/scores


Langjökull, Snæfellsjökull, Solheimajökull

Three glacier ice records, played until they melt.


Earth–Moon–Earth (4’33”)

Four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence reflected from the moon to earth.


Read more details of Paterson’s works on her artist website:















Katie Paterson

Paterson’s solo exhibition Syzygy (an astronomical term relating to planetary alignment) was held at the Lowry in Manchester from April to August, 2016. The exhibition involved two new commissins, ‘Totality’ and ‘Ara’, as well as the piece that brought her fame at her degree show. The artist described the exhibition as a

“…coming together of planets in space and time, and relates to how most of my work deals with Earthly time and cosmic time, and our relationship with heavenly bodies and the wider cosmos.”

For further literature

“The classical Ruskinian sublime was supposed to humble you before the awesome majesty of creation; the technological sublime, meanwhile, seeks to celebrate the power of science to bring nature to heel: the curation of creation, if you will. But despite working at scales of the utmost sublimity, Paterson is somehow doing neither of these things.” Paul Graham Raven for the New Scientist: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2086768-syzygy-exhibition-squeezes-cosmic-wonders-into-everyday-objects/

Paterson discusses her relationship with science and scientists as well as her childhood need for daydreaming, in conversation with Veronica Simpson for Studio International: http://www.studiointernational.com/index.php/katie-paterson-interview-as-a-child-i-used-to-practice-daydreaming 

“In the unrelenting pace of modern life, Katie Paterson grants us permission to pause, and, as you stand in the gallery, it is difficult to tear yourself away from the dizzying, ineffable splendour of thousands of diminutive eclipses unravelling on the walls, floor and ceiling, softly wrapping themselves around you. For just an instant, time stands still.” Melanie Vandenbrouck for Apollo Magazine: https://www.apollo-magazine.com/fitting-the-entire-universe-into-an-art-gallery-katie-paterson/


Katie Paterson | Introduction

about, artists, Introduction, Katie Paterson

Katie Paterson is a Glasgow-born visual artist who graduated from ECA in 2004, before completing her MFA at the Slade School of Art three years later.

Now living and working in Berlin, Paterson’s practice is concerned with ecology, technology and astronomy. Throughout her career she has presented a body of work which has drifted from the physical landscapes of Earth, to the incalculability of the universe, often investigating the mysteries of our galaxy through a framework of scientific and conceptual projects. She uses the tangible object to capture the intangible nature of the cosmos and beyond.