Katy Dove worked with animation, drawing, painting and printmaking, with an interest in the intuitive relationship between sound and image and in the way that both can encapsulate everyday experiences. She was also a musician and often used specially composed musical scores to accompany her animations, which feature organic and geometric moving forms and colourful patterns. Her drawings and prints evoke similar ideas while using the symbols of musical notation to suggest the abstract qualities of music and the overarching influence it has on her work. Her print Face (2010) is inspired in part by the animator Norman McLaren (1914–1987) and his innovative use of visual notation.
Her animation Meaning in Action (2013) captures an array of soft pastel colours that are rhythmically revealed on-screen. Overlaying these emerging hues, silhouettes of hands, legs and arms reveal further colours and combinations of colour within them. Dove’s use of these bodily features creates new moving forms and suggests movements akin to dance or performance. She uses a heavily distorted guitar-led soundtrack and a chanting vocal build to a crescendo that unites both sound and image, evoking the psychological state suggested by the choreographed movements.
Similar approaches can be found in Dove’s earlier animation October (2011), in which footage of mountains and forests shot on location were superimposed with drawings rendered in her familiar animation techniques. Here, birds fly across the screen and mingle with hovering animated elements. The influences of nature that feature in the film are mirrored in the work’s drawn elements. The foliage forms inspire patterns on-screen while geometric lines appear to draw themselves across the surface of the video. October sees Dove’s work expand beyond the frame of the animation and draw connections with the wider world.
The artist also collaborated with Anne-Marie Copestake and Ariki Porteous under the name Full Eye. They shared an interested in mantra, the repetition of words or sounds to aid meditation, and their work includes writing, voice and percussion. In her solo work, Katy Dove created meditative spaces through the combinations of sound and image and contemplative responses to colour and rhythm.