The work of Catherine Bertola involves creating installations, objects and drawings that respond to particular sites, collections and historic contexts. Underpinning the work is a desire to look beyond the surface of objects and buildings, to uncover forgotten and invisible histories of places and people, as a way of reframing and considering the past. She often draws on the historic role of women in society, craft production and labour.
'Residual Hauntings' is a triptych of photographs originally commissioned for The Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth UK. The images are of the artist enacting domestic rituals and actions performed by the Bronte sisters - as described in written records held at the museum. The actions include pacing around the dining room table, running up and down the stairs and sweeping the kitchen floor. These ghostly vignettes reanimate the spaces of the Parsonage, recreating a sense of the movement that previously filled the rooms. Bertola's interest in the Bronte Parsonage Museum centres on the contradictions between past and present that lie at the heart of the museum. Bertola sees the house as a 'period set', a reconstruction of the past onto which we project our own thoughts and feelings. 'Residual Hauntings' attempts to breathe life back into the space and reinstate a sense of the creativity that once filled the air of the house.
Bertola studied Fine Art at Newcastle University, and currently lives and works in Gateshead, UK. She has worked on a number of commissions and exhibitions with major national and international galleries and museums.
Catherine Bertola is represented by Workplace Gallery, UK, www.workplacegallery.co.uk