Kath Lovett: Botanicals and Baby Wipes

We've loved being the site for the wonderful Kath Lovett's installation as part of public notice : an exhibition, on from 20th-30th August 2020!
Her piece, which is made from pleated bio-degradable baby wipes which have been intricately embroidered and dyed using beetroot, meanders delicately through our flower stand and amongst the plants in our window.
We caught up with Kath to learn some more about her work, art and activism and her favourite plants!
Tell us about your practice in 5 words:

Textiles, sustainability, feminism, natural-dyes and wet-wipes!

Tell us a bit about your background and when you know you wanted to be an artist:

I’ve always been an artist but was slightly put off by how self-promoting you had to be in the 2000’s… although it’s changed a lot now! So I taught art in London’s secondary-schools and loved it but re-focused to my art practice after having kids. 

I did an MA in Sustainable Textiles at Chelsea College and developed my current practice after working out that I’ve used over 15,000 baby-wipes! Most wipes are made from polyester, which in turn is made from oil; the fact that I had thrown away so much of this finite resource really shocked me. I rescued over a thousand unused and dry wipes from a wet-wipes factory and developed a way of pleating, dyeing and embroidering them. For me, wipes embody issues around feminism and sustainability plus being really beautiful things when used as a textile. 
Developing my art practice has been one of the best decisions of my life; being able to make art around feminist and environmental issues is such a privilege. I still teach but now have a lot more balance in my life. 

Where do you go to find inspiration?

Nature – I always go back to nature – whether it’s watching floating sea-weed, growing a lemon-tree from a pip with my daughter’s help, drawing the weeds in my garden; nature’s generosity and abundance is always my inspiration. Oh, that and reading about wet-wipes!

We love your wet wipe activism concept and how you make living and thinking sustainability beautiful! Do you have any good tips on living more sustainably/what people can do to be more of an activist?

Consume thoughtfully – only buy things that you absolutely love. This will probably mean buying less stuff but you’ll have things that you will treasure forever. Love nature and your local community so much you won’t want to harm it. Become passionate about one issue around sustainability - you can’t be an activist about everything – for me it’s sustainable textiles, but for others it’s meat or bio-diversity. Read loads about it, join an activist group or start one of your own. Now’s the time for everyone to be an activist!

Favourite Grace & Thorn plant/flowers?

Where do I start? The whole shop is my favourite! It has to be the giant cheese plants, or the beautiful dried flowers or the amazing blue hydrangea flower-heads… I could go on forever.

Top London tips/spots? 

I’m a South-London girl born and bred so it has be this way of the river. The Horniman Museum has beautiful gardens, a small but perfectly formed aquarium plus the best museum café. The Garden Museum is a gorgeous space in which you can sense the love for nature and come out feeling calm and relaxed. It’s very zen. As for shopping – Chichirara in East Dulwich sells great vintage designer clothes – plus Heather, who runs it, gives honest advice on what actually looks good on you. Which is exactly is why shopping local in independent shops is so great!


You can see Kath's installation in store until 30th August and find out more about her stunning work here.

Images courtesy of Kath Lovett

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