Kate Lycett grew up in Suffolk where the skies are vast and the land is low and flat. Kate's grandad was an architect and he taught her the rudiments of technical drawing when she was 9. He made her a drawing board and a T square, and showed her how to sharpen a pencil with a knife.
Kate ventured north to York were she studied fine art at University (YSJ) and specialised in textile design. She had fun with pots of wax, resin, shiny fabrics and butterfly’s wings. From there she spent a year in Huddersfield where she studied industrial applications and CAD; fewer butterflies, more Loom Sheds!
Kate's first design job sat her in a sterile studio changing colourways of prints to match company logos and she was never allowed to get her hands dirty. She missed her fingers being permanently stained with Prussian blue, and so she started to paint again.
In 1999 Kate moved to Sheffield, and after a while started to sell her work in galleries, and in the art and craft markets there. She made many great friends. She moved to Hebden Bridge in 2005. Hannah at Radiance helped her to develop her lanterns.
Kate's textile design background is always present in the way that she paints, and interprets what is around her. She sees patterns in everything; the hills adorned with houses and washing lines, rows of flower pots and stripes of brightly painted drain pipes. Lines of gold thread trace lines through the landscape, and gold leaf changes the surface of her pictures with the changing light of day. Kate wants to paint beautiful pictures of the places that she loves. There are never people in my pictures but they’re full of life and warmth.
Hebden Bridge is home and is part of who Kate is and what she does. She loves the warmth, the colour and the community of where she lives. She loves that almost everyone she meets in the street can do or make something beautiful. It inspires much of her work and the longer she is there, the more she learns about the town, and so her work develops. There is such history in Hebden Bridge. Kate hears stories from the people who remember the town when it was black and industrial and those who remember the hedonistic hippy days. The house Kate lives in has seen it all, and she's uncovering it’s histories as she pulls up the floors and strips the walls.
Kate lives in Hebden Bridge with her husband and three small children. She can see trees from her studio window at the front of the house. There are the remains of a vast mill chimney in her garden. It is full of nesting birds.