Katherine Renton has a degree in Fine Art from Newcastle University. She has always lived and worked on the Northumberland coast.
Katherine's work explores the vulnerability of living on the Northumberland coastline. The county borders Scotland and the North Sea, she paints the structures built to protect the county from the sea, and the threat of invasion: the harbour walls, the World War II tank traps, the famous castles ... and sandcastles. But 'attack' and 'protection' takes on new meanings in the era of Climate Change, Social Media and Covid – building a wall or a castle is no longer the answer.
In her latest work she uses watercolours that she has made from natural materials that she finds along the eroding coastline. In particular, she uses seacoal: washed up on the Northumbrian beaches after storms. Her grandfather was a miner who dug coal out from seams under the North Sea. Coal is the single biggest contributor to climate change.