Katie O brings scary monsters and robots to The Lock

AN ARTIST is holding her second solo exhibition in Coventry, telling a story familiar to many young women.
Katie O’s exhibition Minor Malfunctions, Psychology of the Machine, is on show at The Lock at the Canal Warehouse beside the Canal Basin. It tells the story of a young girl setting out through life, beset with worries and indecisions, feeling scared by the – in this work – scary monster looming over her, and then here getting some guidance from the friendly robot. Dreams seem out of reach, life is empty and she wonders if it will ever change.

The pastel works tell a progressive story, ending with one where she’s no longer fully even in the picture – just the top of her head pokes into the frame, and there’s a cross road sign, telling us it’s up to her – and maybe us? – to decide the future for ourselves.
Katie said about it: “It’s more of a question to us to look at our own lives. You don ‘t want to miss out on opportunities.”
Katie O, aged 23, lives in Coventry, and graduated from De Montfort University in Leicester with a degree in fine art in 2009. She combines her work as an artist with a job at Hobbycraft.
These are her first works in colour. The story starts in bright colours, her little cartoon-like girl with wide-set eyes starting on her journey, then when the scary monster and robot come along the images get more monochrome again. When she’s got through some of the scary bits and is facing the future, colour emerges again.
It’s quite dark in theme – but Katie says her work is usually darker than this, and she cites Goya as an influence.
The exhibition is on until May 25, and the works hang surrounded by some of gallery boss Emma O’Brien’s frequently macabre monster creations, creating their own scary world outside the frame.


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