Perdikaki, 2019, 37 minutes, HD video still

Catriona Gallagher arrived at VARC in July 2020 and will spend 10 months living and working at Highgreen. Read more about Catriona and her plans for the residency here:


In highlighting vestigial details in our physical surroundings and the psychological landscapes mirroring them, my work seeks to make the familiar strange within the places we occupy. I use drawing, writing, moving image and installations of all three to collect, map and record traces of a physical and cerebral nature, such as plant growth, wind and light movements. Specific plant species, from weeds to medicinal herbs, appear in my work as symbols in the hands of their human imbuers, containers for concepts and research. In tracking such passages over time and through space, the elements interacting with our environments can be utilised to reveal as much about their historical and socioeconomic contexts as the subconsciousness of their perceivers.

The point at which natural and manmade environments collide is the arena for my investigations; I do not see either in isolation. When there is no figure present in the frame, the human is implied through its residues and ghosts. Inspecting our surroundings with an observant perception allows me to explore context, its formation of us and our formation of it. By examining such deeply connected ecologies, we can better understand both the components and their relationships as part of the wider whole.

Perdikaki, 2019, 37 minutes, HD video still
Pellitory of the Wall, 2018, anthology with pressed specimen, edition of 150

ENTWINED: Rural. Land. Lives. Art.

Over the ten months in Northumberland, I will be researching perceived categorisations of the natural, manmade and wildness. I will be looking at systems of knowledge, control and management of nature locally, identifying such traces in the landscape alongside more collaborative practices and rituals performed on the land. Working with local people will be key and I’m hoping to develop collaborations with performers to include local voices, dialects and bodies.

Mapping such patterns, whether physical or informational, will constitute my beginnings in drawing and writing, which I anticipate will progress into moving image over the course of the residency.  I plan to begin with an open ended approach to the Ecology of Place and see what strikes me as pertinent and holds my interest when immersed in the locality.



Catriona Gallagher is a visual artist based between the UK and Greece who works between moving image, drawing, writing and installation. In 2019, her first medium length film Perdikaki was released, which follows the prolific but overlooked weed pellitory-of-the-wall/περδικἀκι growing in the urban environment of Athens, Greece. Current project Cube House uses the locality of an architect’s summer house as a mindspace to explore bilingual thought processing, imperfect translation and the dualities of interiority and exteriority.

In 2016 she co-founded A – DASH project space in Athens with Eva Isleifs, Noemi Niederhauser and Zoe Hatziyanaki, co-running the space and curating projects between 2016 and 2018. Her work has been screened and exhibited in the UK, Greece, Italy, France and the USA. She holds a BA in Sculpture from Edinburgh College of Art and an MFA from Ruskin School of Art.