LIS: It’s a beautiful early morning here in Lennox and we’ve just finished the photoshoot, so, how are you feeling?
KATE: Yeah it's really funny, you grow up thinking only a certain type of girl is allowed to be in a photoshoot, but it's really nice to be shot in a way that’s about you and your life. It’s such a gift to look back at the photos and get a chance to see yourself in real life looking good.
LIS: I know where you’re coming from. I think there’s this idea out there of what a fashion photoshoot is and I think it's a really limited view on the world. There’s a real disconnect there.
KATE: I think that really shows in the design of your underwear. The lines and the fabrics make you look your best, I love my NICO underwear. Every woman is going to look beautiful in their own style.
LIS: Yeah totally. That’s what these shoots are about, comfort and the idea that when you find your style, that’s what sexy is. To be comfortable in your own skin.
KATE: Yeah definitely, wearing the high waisted pieces, I feel really comfortable because it accentuates that I’ve got a round booty. It accentuates the parts you like, without making you feel self conscious about the parts that you don’t like so much.
LIS: You looked amazing.
KATE: And being in my own environment because I do walk across the road in my knickers to go check the surf and I know that the restaurant next door sees me do it! Doing it in a shoot in some way validates my life and can show that we can wear what we feel comfortable in.
LIS: There’s no rules, right? So maybe you could tell us a little about your work and what you’re working on at the moment.
KATE: I’m currently doing two things, I’m working as the Assistant Director on a theatre production for NORPA. Its been devised from local stories and it's going to be put on at the community hall at Eureka. It's about local North Coast stories and it's done in a North Coast hall. There’s something really sort of amazing about that. The Artistic Director here, Julian Louis, is making this kind of work and I feel really blessed that I’ve been able to work with him on it. Hopefully we’ll continue to work on similar projects in the future. Then at the same time, the company is supporting me to undertake a two-week residency on my own creative practice, which is writing and performing theatrical works that deal with youth culture. The piece that I’m working on now is called, The Adventures of Wonderbabe the Terrible. It’s about a young woman in Byron Bay on New Years Eve and her struggle with her political faith, the world and her sexuality. It’s been really interesting the response I’ve gotten from it, young women hear it and recognise it as their casual truth.
LIS: Did you write it based on your own experiences?
KATE: Yeah, it definitely it came from things like when I was 15 and went out on New Years Eve with friends in a really vulnerable and exposed way but also craving something dangerous. Through to experiences now and how that same space feels as a 29 year old woman and everything in between. What it’s like to be with your best mate going out, meeting people, causing trouble, being dangerous and why we put ourselves in those dangerous positions, what we’re searching for and why that’s specific to our time and place now.
LIS: Have you found that making the work has resolved some issues for you? Is it a therapeutic kind of process in some ways?
KATE: I think that the process definitely was, but I wrote it when I was 25-26 and I’m not that person anymore. I was very angry at that time about my place in the world as a woman and I felt like I had no voice, I felt like no-one wanted to hear what I had to say. That there was a culture and environment where a female voice isn’t valid. I don’t feel that way now, but I do know that a lot of other young women growing up here in Australia feel that way. I may have worked through where I sit and found my power since then, but it doesn’t mean that everybody else has.
LIS: Yeah I guess that’s what it’s all about - putting it out there for people to be able to connect with.
KATE: What's exciting about the work is that I will be performing it with a DJ set, played live by my incredible composer, James Brown. The music pumps throughout the whole show, so it's really pitched at the audience that it's written for and we’re in conversation to present it in its full-scale glory Byron in 2018. It’s going to be really great to finally get it up on its feet.
LIS: That’s really exciting, I look forward to seeing the full piece.
KATE: I also work with Crack Theatre Festival, which is a contemporary arts festival for emerging artists, who are experimenting with things that maybe don’t fit the mainstream. It's over the October long weekend and is part of This is Not Art Festival and I’ve just recently finished my first year as co-artistic director for that festival. I love festivals and I love theatre festivals and I feel it's the way forward for the community who don’t feel comfortable walking into a theatre to access the stories that people are writing about. Eventually I will launch my own festival here on the Northern Rivers inspired by Crack Theatre Festival with an entirely North Coast flavour, so that's a really exciting prospect for the future.
LIS: You’re a busy lady! I love the way you work with these really important stories that perhaps otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to be told.
KATE: Exactly, they’re the stories that we don’t necessarily see and I want my festival to have those types of works placed on a platform where the general community can come along.
LIS: Amazing. Well thanks for opening up your home and your world - it's been beautiful.