About Kate Jenkins
I was around the age of eight when I learned to knit and crochet. Right from the beginning, I was addicted. I spent many happy hours in my childhood home in Wales totally engrossed in creating ‘things’ with yarn! My passion has never abated.
It didn’t take me long to realise that I was much better at interpreting an idea by creating it in 3d using wool rather than through painting or drawing. This led me to the University of Brighton and I graduated with a BA Honours in Fashion & Textiles in 1995. From then, I built a successful career as a knitwear designer. My designs have been used by some of the world’s most famous labels, including Missoni, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren to name just a few.
I was always looking for different ways to use my love of wool, textile and colour. And that’s how my art was born. The everyday has always fascinated and inspired me, particularly food. So I began to take things we all know and love – like fish and chips – reinventing them in wool.
My first exhibition – Comfort Food – was a small one in my Brighton studio. I was nervous. Would anyone come? My art was so different, would anyone like it? Would I actually sell a crocheted bottle of ketchup? Well, the exhibition was packed. Everyone loved the art. And, yes, I sold quite a lot of pieces.
This gave me the confidence to launch myself as an artist and to let my imagination take me on a journey. So far it’s taken me to London and solo shows in a Soho gallery. To Mott Street New York and another solo show. To Ally Pally and Dublin with my fish counter installation. A variety of Art Fairs and galleries. I’ve even had my art as a pop-up installation in the London Eye. Now, my work is collected around the world.
While my journey has been varied and exciting, one thing never changes. Whatever I create, whether it’s a carton of French fries, a tin of sardines or a box of frogs I always include lots of warmth and a dash of wit. Above all, I want my work to make people smile.
As well as staging exhibitions, I also work on commissions for public and private collections.