Cambridge artist picked for top London show

Published: 17 June 2015 at 16:10

Anglia Ruskin student’s work will be displayed at The Society of Women Artists

Cambridge artist Katy McDonald is celebrating after having her work accepted for the 151st Annual Exhibition of The Society of Women Artists.

The 24-year-old, who is studying for an MA in Printmaking at Anglia Ruskin University, will have two pieces on display at the Mall Galleries in London from 28 June until 7 July, with an official opening on 27 June by HRH Princess Michael of Kent, the society’s patron.

Katy, who lives in Chesterton, said:

“Throughout my two years studying at Anglia Ruskin I have continually submitted my work to various competitions and exhibitions, and it was a great feeling to have two pieces accepted to be exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London.
“It shows that hard work, determination and a can-do attitude are essential in the creative industries. Having your submission declined by any organization is disheartening, and it has happened to me many times, but I think it’s all good experience and part of an artist’s practice.
“When you do eventually have a piece accepted it is a huge confidence boost and motivates you to keep going and keep trying.  I’m excited for the opening on 27 June and the exposure this event could provide for my artwork as I’m constantly trying to broaden my audience, get my work recognised and build a reputation.”

The two pieces Katy has had accepted are Growth and Process (Broken China) and Growth and Process (Pieces in Place), which both use the printmaking technique of etching.  This involves exposing of a metal plate to a chemical which takes away the surface of the areas exposed by the artist.  Prints can then be taken from the plate after it has been exposed and thoroughly washed.

Katy added:

“I’m interested in producing contemporary outcomes by using a combination of different, often traditional, printmaking methods and techniques including etching, lino print, hand-colouring and stitching.
“Various street and environmental artists, along with shapes and growths seen in nature and decay, influence my work.  I am inspired by the transition of street art escaping the frame in the gallery to existing outside the realms of the gallery and vice versa.  My current collection, Growth and Process, symbolises this.  The forms grow and, through the use of many layers, the image illustrates the print process, which fascinates me.  
“The images also represent my own growth as an individual as I become more independent through a mixture of different decisions as well as grow as an artist.  Drawing the pattern helps me to think through these decisions and relax.  I listen to a lot of music when creating different plates so the drawings and prints often reflect the rhythms.”

For further information about the exhibition at the Mall Galleries, which is near Admiralty Arch in London, visit