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Kay Abude, Artist Case Study

Kay Abude, Artist Case Study

Kay Abude > Biography

Kay Abude is a Melbourne-based sculptor whose work traverses sculpture, installation and performance. Kay’s creative practice is dominated by a preoccupation with the factory and in response, her installation and performance works are process and task driven. Kay completed a Master of Fine Art (by Research) at the Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne in 2010. She has received numerous awards including the Professional Development Award 2014 and the Civic Choice Award 2014 for her project Piecework (Federation Square) in the 2014 Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture. She was commissioned to make work for Next Wave Festivals, 2008, 2010, and 2012, and participated in [en]counters - Powerplay 2013, a public art program located in Mumbai. Kay exhibited at Linden for Innovators 2 in 2014, where she exhibited Piecework, and recently exhibited at VCA’s Margaret Lawrence Gallery as part of Fabrik: performative approaches to textiles, conceived by Sarah crowEST and curated by Jane O’Neill. Kay has been the recipient of several art grants including the VicArts Project Grant (2014) and an Australia Council ArtStart Grant (2013). Find out more about Kay Abude > HERE


Kay Abude > Case Study

Kay says the collaborative experience of working with staff at Linden on the development of Piecework for Innovators 1, 2014, pushed her practice “into a new territory of professional growth and development”, as she found the process challenging, which made her consider her project ambitiously. Kay utilised Linden’s architecture by accessing the front bay windows to make her work visible to the outside world. This was achieved by employing a three-shift system where the work was in constant operation and performed over a 24-hour period. Visitors were invited to visit Linden overnight to view the work by peering into the space from the front windows and were also invited inside to experience and interact with the work. 

Kay believes she gained valuable project management skills during the twelve-month project period. “I was supported throughout the whole process, from the conception, to creation and finally the public presentation of the work”, says Kay. She reflects upon the importance of working in a gallery space that allows for experimentation. She believes that this culture enabled her to “build a new platform of inquiry into themes of labour and value in relation to the world we live in”, which Kay feels is vitally important to explore in a creative arts space. This realisation led to her exploration of new ideas regarding the factory and manufacturing within her practice.

Kay says of her overall experience of collaborating with Linden, “the most important thing about working with Linden was the generosity and ongoing encouragement from the staff in support of my project.” Kay feels that she was greatly supported throughout the entire process “The momentum and energy created from this project has empowered me as an artist.”

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