Catherine Bertola

Catherine Bertola - Vane

Catherine Bertola, If walls could talk..., 2002. Installation at Linosa Close, Liverpool, as part of ‘Further up in the air’. © Further archive

Catherine Bertola subtly intervenes within specific locations, often empty spaces – be they temporarily vacated prior to renovation, long-since abandoned or even derelict and destined for demolition.

Seeking out the traces of their departed occupants, she uses these as the base material for her work. The markers of our physical bodies – such as fingerprints and dust – and the locations they inhabit – from bricks and mortar through to our choice of fabrics, wallpapers and paint colours – remain long after we have departed. Nothing is ever really destroyed, only concealed or altered. Whether painted or papered over or reduced to dust, fragments of the original remain. Likewise, Bertola’s work is as much about the processes that take place both before and after the actual public exhibition of an individual piece of work. Labour intensive and repetitive in their creation, these processes often mimic the methods of archaeology or forensic science, digging beneath the surface to uncover past histories, architecture and functions. Largely site-specific and outside of the conventional gallery environment, individual works often remain in place for months or even years, their eventual erasure dependent on the future actions of those other than the artist.