Katy Welsh wants you to see evidence of the human hand in her illustrations

But recently, Katy’s paper-based practice merged with a new digital approach for a project that she created during lockdown. Titled Windows, this series of animations looks at life indoors during the pandemic, recreating quotidian scenes that will be familiar to many of us. Brought together in a short video accompanied by music from her brother Patrick, the moving images show home dwellers attempting to stay fit, working in their studies and fighting in their kitchens during a strange period in which a house (or flat) becomes an entire world.

Speaking about the project, Katy says: “Last year, I found I wasn’t able to get inspired in the ways that I normally am, [so] my practice became a lot more inward-facing and I started to get ideas from tiny moments of my mundane day-to-day rather than from exhibitions and being out in the world. On my daily walks I would see other people living their whole lives within four walls. It made me think about how within one building there were so many stories playing out at once when no one was allowed to leave.”

For Katy, Windows marked the start of a new chapter in her journey as an artist, giving her cause to think about what kind of work she really wants to make, and the many new and different ways in which she can go about doing that. Through “creating all the background by hand using a collection of dyed and printed papers and even some postage stamps”, and then combining this with animated elements that she built digitally, the project allowed her to “fully integrate analogue and digital collage techniques”. Reflecting on the process, she says Windows was an important step for her in understanding the possibilities of her practice: “It felt like a real breakthrough for me to understand how these facets of my work mesh together and [how they] can strengthen each other, and it has given me a blueprint for how I want to make illustration and animation moving forward.”

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