About Kathryn

Kathryn Parsons

I've lived on the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens for many years, right between the flat fenlands to the east and the first gently rolling hills to the west. It’s a fascinating place, immensely rich in history and biodiversity, with many nationally important nature reserves.

Kathryn Parsons

My work flows from my love of nature, small details and place combined with a life-long delight in exploring craft techniques.

It’s an adventure driven by curiosity and a desire to seek out and share some of the fascinating stories of this amazing planet and the people who’ve lived here… because stories help us connect with places and each other, which is good for humans! And feeling connected also means we’re more likely to cherish and protect biodiversity and heritage.

My deep grief for the damage that the natural world is sustaining adds drive and reason.

Found in the Fields, detail

As I spend time getting to know a place, delving in to archives and talking with people who know it best, I search for stories that capture my attention and which I think will fascinate others too. I intentionally allow space for discoveries to guide the final outcomes, and select materials and techniques that best tell the story.

Sharing the research and exploration via social media draws others in to the adventure, and so the stories gently ripple out… the land is "re-storied" and people's connections with place and nature are strengthened and enriched.

Kathryn Parsons

Handcrafts and simple tools are at the heart of my work. I've always loved exploring what I can make different materials and processes do, right from a very young age. To me it's an exciting, fascinating adventure!

And so I use a wide variety of processes and materials, depending on what best communicates the story... from eco-printed poems and sugar shoes to photography and mixed media sculptures. To reduce the environmental impact of my work I often use old or natural objects. And in very small quantities I use porcelain too, because for me it speaks deeply of the beauty, fragility and strength of the natural world.

Much of my work is created to be displayed as temporary interventions in the place that it speaks about... adding richness and something new to see, while offering new ways for visitors to respond and engage.

Kathryn Parsons

My first career was in teaching, in primary, further and adult education - including teaching sugarcraft and competing in international sugarcraft competitions! Gradually I learned to listen to my heart, and follow its desire to use my creativity and love of learning to share fascinating stories of nature and place.

I delight in nurturing the creativity of others and sharing my adventures through writing, workshops, demonstrations and talks. In 2022, I launched NatureCraft online mini workshops - a space to connect with nature, creativity and other nature-loving people from across the globe.

Exhibitions, Residencies and Site-Specific Artworks

I have exhibited at The National Centre for Craft & Design (solo and group exhibition), and created site-specific artworks for Burghley House, University of Leicester, John Clare Trust, Derby Museum’s porcelain gallery and on nature reserves. In 2012 one of my artworks was selected for “Inspired by…” exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. See C.V. for more details.

Currently I am Artist in Residence with Langdyke Countryside Trust, a wildlife conservation and heritage charity - in collaboration with photographer and ecologist Sarah Lamber, we tell the stories of the Trust's volunteers and the places, wildlife and heritage that they work to protect.

Following a residency with GroundWork Gallery in 2023, I am now a member of the GroundWork Network and working on a new project about The Wash with several of the other GroundWork artist. GroundWork Gallery is dedicated to the environment and based in King's Lynn, Norfolk.

In 2023 I was selected as a member of ArtCan, an artist-led organisation seeking to increasingly promote environmentally sustainable art practices.

Tern Rafting, Langdyke Herbarium of Stories, Kathryn Parsons