Katrina Moorhead: (of) Everything Island

March 8 - April 27, 2024

Inman Gallery is pleased to present (of) Everything Island, a solo exhibition by Katrina Moorhead, on view March 8–April 27, 2024. Please join us for an opening reception Friday, March 8, from 6–8pm. An conversation between Moorhead and art historian Natilee Harren is scheduled for April 13, at 1pm.


(of) Everything Island is on view concurrently with Linarejos Moreno: On the Geography of Green. This is Moorhead's seventh solo exhibition with the gallery.



The world is finite. The fit survive and the delicate perish. The dead are gone. Nighttime visitors leave by morning. So we tell ourselves. But within, underneath, and alongside this seemingly stable terrain are other countries that observe different laws. Smaller but more bountiful than our own, these are the playful, changeable, alluring and sinister precincts where boundaries and certainties erode. Their entryways are everywhere if you’re looking, but they open unbidden to all of us once in a while: in times of mourning or dread, on lonely roads or under a good burly stump. They’re the settings for tales of missing or wayward children, fairy stories, extravagant travelogues, open-world video games, campfire fabulation. Even science owes something to these secluded lands: Charles Darwin returned from a remote island with his own fabulous story of perpetual change, a story by turns dismissed, misinterpreted, exalted and embellished, a story that, for better and for worse, frames our understanding of the world to this day.


So begins the story of Katrina Moorhead’s current exhibition (of) Everything Island.


(of) Everything Island features relics, fragments, and emissaries from one such world. Lithographs of fairy flowers – bergamot, musk mallow, cosmos – printed on layered translucent film, twine together as they fade back and away, opening a channel to their land of origin. A blackthorn walking stick, a “ladies’ stick,” trails ninety-nine rose-brass thorns across the gallery, too elaborate to hold, stifled under the weight of its own glamour, its own sorcery. Two hunched spirits, identically clad in fur and crystal, rotate on separate tripods across from one another, never coming face-to-face, eternally out of sync. A broken tambourine frame stuffed with a pink bunny hide is doubly muted: the tambourine pinches the bunny’s ears; the hide displaces the tambourine’s zills. The zills re- appear in a companion piece, embedded in a scalloped groove in a book of stories, rendering the book-instrument both unreadable and unplayable.


Transformation is the abiding rule. Every object teeters on the edge of becoming, or collapse, or renewal, or some combination thereof. Every object is pierced, or porous, or precarious. Every object might be another object’s ancestor, or cousin, or hatchling, or reincarnation. Recurring motifs, recurring materials, echoes and doppelgangers abound.


Moorhead asks: How can a territory as small and circumscribed as an island also be everything? When that island and everything on it contain the memory of everything they were, and the germ of everything they will be. That’s the promise and threat of all enchantment: the giddy, exhilarating, disquieting potential for change, for straddling contradictory states of being. On Everything Island, the transitory outlast the durable. The dead colonize the living on their way to being dead. The noises upstairs are children playing, are fairies, are bunnies, are music, are old stories, are unread stories, are quiet. And the pinprick openings to Everything Island, small as they might be, go on forever.



Katrina Moorhead (b. Coleraine, Northern Ireland) earned BA and MFA degrees from the Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland, before moving to Houston to participate in the Core Artist in Residency Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. In addition to the Core Program, Moorhead has participated in the Galveston Artist Residency, ArtPace Residency (San Antonio), and the SIM Gueststudio, Reykjavik - Association of Icelandic Visual Artists, Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland. Important exhibitions include her solo exhibition A Thing Called Early Blur at the Blaffer Gallery, The Art Museum of the University of Houston; the group exhibition Second Nature: Contemporary Landscapes from the MFAH Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the group exhibition The Luxury of Dirt, Galerie Bob van Orsouw, Zurich, Switzerland; and the group exhibition The Nature of Things, in which she represented Northern Ireland at the 2005 Venice Biennale. She lives and works in Houston, TX.



(of) Everything Island is funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.