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Cat Brierley

  • Visual Artist

Exchange Place Studios

After being financially unable to continue with therapy, Cat Brierley (b. 1995 Chesterfield) started to produce artworks to create physical spaces for their intrusive thoughts and memories to live externally to their own body.

The breakdown of their parental relationships and the internalised idea that they were a ‘difficult’ and ‘inconvenient’ child have become the main focus of their practice alongside themes of control, responsibility, helplessness, and disparagement. Back in their ancestral home of South Yorkshire, but distanced from the community they were raised in, Cat is able to look at their disconnected, angry, frustrated, and sometimes funny experiences through a new lens of queerness and gender nonconformity.

Utilising acrylic paint, glitter-glue, felt-tips, gel-pens, stickers, and naive mark making they purposefully reflect the low-culture techniques and motifs of their own work produced as a child which they state as their biggest visual inspiration. In this way their art is celebrated alongside the art we all produce in childhood that is frequently thought of as unimportant and discarded; as our younger selves experiences often are.

The camouflaged handwriting and layered texts in Cat’s works ask viewers to actively search for clarity and decode and disentangle contradictory truths reflected in their own memories and self-identities.