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Kate Austin

Kate is a fibre artist and surface pattern designer. Kate’s practice focusses on textiles at the intersection of visual art, design and material culture. Kate has a passion for Public and Community-Engaged Art, and is committed to making work that is socially and ecologically responsible.

Kate was born in England, but has mostly lived in Toronto. She studied painting, photography and textiles in Halifax, NS and London, England. When she moved back to Toronto, Kate co-founded a textile studio, ruckus, which made original and colourful screen-printed fabric works for 8 years. Kate is an avid knitter; since 2003 she has co-owned and operated the knit cafe, a knitting centre and shop on Queen street west. In 2009 Kate co-created a Canada-wide community arts network,  ArtBridges.ca.

Artistic Statement

I work in bright, saturated colour to create bold, graphic work. I take tons of photographs for inspiration. I'm obsessed with colour and pattern. I find the rhythm and repetition of pattern meditative and the intensity and joy of colour so exciting. I love to find moods in colours and forms, and how they interact. I love dyes and inks for the richness and depth of colour possible. I’m inspired by nature, the seasons, and the built environment around us, real and imagined.

I begin my work with representational drawings in pencil, pen and ink or gouache on paper, which eventually become abstracted or stylized. Often I will figure out a repeating element, or create a repeating pattern from the painting I have made. I make work to be applied on many surfaces, in varied contexts- from paper and canvasses, to dresses and quilts to murals and beyond.


Illustration, Painting, Textile Art

Artist Website


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