© Kathryn Last, Suspension, 2017, copyright Mark Allwood
© Kathryn Last, Suspension, 2017, copyright Mark Allwood

“I never feel pressure to articulate a certain style, I just trust in the process and accept whatever happens.”


Kathryn Last


Artist, Graduate Student, Art Director



© Kathryn Last, 2017, copyright Mark Allwood
© Kathryn Last, 2017, copyright Mark Allwood

Who are you? And what do you do?

I am a 28-year-old multidisciplinary artist. My artistic practise explores the intersection between creation and the expressivity of material. Like music, matter has its own rhythm and I try to express this movement through art.

Where are you from?

I grew up in Oakville, Ontario which is about 30 mins outside of Toronto. I moved 2 hours north for graduate school to a little city called Peterborough. My family still thinks I am crazy for moving out this way, but here I am.

Your Style in 3 words?

expressive, tactile, lyrical

© Kathryn Last, Untitled, 2016
© Kathryn Last, Untitled, 2016

Your weakness? Your strength?

I guess my weakness is letting play take over and getting lost in the material. This often ends up in a big studio mess and an amalgamation of everything all at once. My strength I think is in the process itself. When I create, I become a child. My approach is primitive, messy & exploratory. I never feel pressure to articulate a certain style, I just trust in the process and accept whatever happens.

What makes you different?

I think to be different, you have to be innovative. In an age where the production of art is at an all time high, I think it is a real struggle for the post-modern artist to leave a mark. It begs the question, what makes a work of art timeless? I have always been of the frame of mind, that all art produced is in some sense a reproduction. There were always artists that came before you and will come after. I do not distance myself from my art. I come from the background of cultural theory, so at the very core of my practise is a certain critique of art making. I think what makes me different, is that I am not attached to a certain aesthetic. My art is meant to make you think. Whether its informed by theory, or it generates an internal dialogue for you; I want my art to mobilize thought, and move beyond the gallery wall.

© Kathryn Last, Light Force, 2016
© Kathryn Last, Light Force, 2016

When did you decide to become an artist?

I grew up as an only child, so I spent a lot of time by myself left to my own imagination. I would paint, write and play music to keep myself amused. At 5, I had my own company “Communikate” and I would create abstract scenes and sell them at the end of my driveway. This is all to say, that I decided to become an artist very young, and I have continued my practise for 28 years. Currently, I work as an Art Director at a local gallery to pay the bills. I am a visual theory graduate student part-time and an artist full-time.

What do you find most fascinating about the creative process?

I think that for me, the process of improvisation is the most fascinating. There is this beautiful moment of not knowing that makes the artwork both energetic and freeing all at once. I will often start with a single stroke or gesture and let this movement inform my next thought.

© Kathryn Last, Nesting, 2017, copyright Mark Allwood
© Kathryn Last, Nesting, 2017, copyright Mark Allwood

A few words about your favourite creation?

I created this light sculpture several years back. It was the first time I had introduced light into the material process and this was one of those aha moments.

Someone else’s work that inspired or inspires you?

There is so much incredible art out there! But if I had to chose one person who has been there for 28 years and inspired me to keep creating, it would have to be my grandfather, Tony Last. He just had his 90th birthday, but If you saw him, you wouldn’t believe me that was his age. He has been a professional sculptor and painter for as long as I can remember. He tells me all the time that creating keeps him young, and I really believe it.

© Kathryn Last, Untitled, 2017
© Kathryn Last, Untitled, 2017

A new project coming up or an idea you want to work on?

I feel like I am constantly trying to keep up with all of the ideas I have and materialize them. I do have an installation project that I am working on that involves 28 boxes and found material. Without being to literal, 28 is the number of years I have been alive, and this is kind of a reflection on that.

Finish the sentence „More important than my career is?

Freedom, happiness, compassion, safety

2017: Where are we going?

My Husband and I are escaping the Canadian Winter in December and heading to El Salvador to visit his family and take a much needed mental break from all of the wonderful distractions of adult life.

When the going gets tough?

I think if you could name one of my characteristics, its definitely being resourceful. In my mind, there is always a solution no matter how hard or challenging a situation may be. I am also really humbled by the fact that we are really insignificant in the grand scheme of the world. We are always in this constant flux, so my outlook is always just to embrace the outcome, and move forward.

Your city’s favourite spots?

The fresh air, green forests, and clear lakes that surround this city.

© Kathryn Last, Darling, 2017, copyright Kathryn Last
© Kathryn Last, Darling, 2017

Do you have a vision?

When it comes time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.” – Henry David Thoreau

Tell us about your future plans?

 To keep creating, collaborating, and exhibiting.

Last but not least: what is your favourite Song?

Lately I have been listening to Ottis Reading “I’ve been loving you too long” on repeat.