Katrina Whitehead - The Open College of the Arts

Katrina Whitehead

Unit Leader for Printmaking 1: Introduction to Printmaking

I am a cross-disciplinary artist, working for OCA since 2008 on various modules including Photography, Printmaking, Drawing and Painting. I am also the Unit Leader for Printmaking.

After studying A-levels in printmaking, art and photography (traditional and digital) at college, I entered into a career of 19 years working for the media, including nine years working from home monitoring local radio and television stations, so I can understand the importance of being self-motivated whilst striving to meet strict deadlines.

I then moved on to work for the Press Association at its Northern Headquarters in Howden, East Riding of Yorkshire and worked in the Copytaking department as a Copy Co-ordinator, working with reporters and press photographers, training staff and liaising with Editors of national newspapers.

Based on what I had learnt and developed during my time at P.A. I decided to change my career into teaching and returned to university as a mature student, studying BA (Hons) Fine Art (Sculpture) at Bretton Hall situated within the Yorkshire Sculpture Park where I was inspired by contemporary artists including Brit Artists who were hitting the headlines at the time regarding their installation work. My own work was influenced by unsolved local murders and missing people which I had encountered whilst monitoring the news, culminating in an exhibition at Longsides Gallery with an installation room which was completely white and ‘frozen in time’.

After completing my degree and due to my love of photography and printmaking resurfacing, I decided to specialise in this subject area and applied to study an MA in Printmaking at Bradford College with a focus on photographic silk screen printing, photo etching and hand-made books. I held several collaborative exhibitions at South Square Gallery, Bradford and Dean Clough Gallery, Halifax including an international exhibition in the Czech Republic.

My work continued to draw influence from mass media and in particular dark, satirical stories and celebrity culture. Towards the end of my MA, I developed a love of creating artists’ books and photo books, influenced by writer / artist Graham Rawle. I am currently researching photo and image-embedded novels.

I completed my studies to date with a PGCE in Art & Design at the University of Huddersfield where I now teach Creative Writing to Fashion degree students.