Kate Toledo: A Vibrant Reflection of Culture and Tradition

A Vibrant Reflection of Culture and Tradition

With a zest for life and a colourful cultural background, artist Kate Toledo brings vivid visions to the forefront of the arts industry through paintings and silk scarves.

Her background is her foundations, and rightly so; born in Tanzania and brought up in Africa and New Zealand, she spent an impressive twenty years in Brazil, before settling within the Middle East back in 2006. Kate is now based between Dubai and Lisbon, and coincidentally Portugal was her source of inspiration for her art collection; which features more than a dozen canvas works and her signature three silk scarves.

A Vibrant Reflection of Culture and Tradition
Kate Toledo, with her Portuguese collection

The Portuguese Collection is a tribute to the country’s 17th and 18th century ceramic works and antiquities. The paintings are a reflection of the artist’s exploration of her second home, Lisbon, where religious and public buildings don elaborate tile work and interiors decorated with 17th century Pombal tiles. The works represent the artist’s own interpretation of these tile and faiança works, bringing together the intricate patterns and animal scenes depicted. These continue to be a source of unending inspiration for Toledo and The Portuguese Collection pays homage to a time where nature intertwined with architecture to create unique designs and a way of life.

A Vibrant Reflection of Culture and Tradition

Kate Toledo’s Portuguese Collection.

Kate comments, “I have a great love and respect for Portuguese ceramic work from this era and have studied it extensively to gain a better understanding of the story, heritage and culture from which each piece began and has now come to represent. I hope to honour these scenes and patterns – preserving them further yet offering a new life and perspective to them”.

The series, which took close to three years to complete, is a collection of canvas works inspired, in part, by Reinado Wanili, one of the few documented faiança artists along with his unnamed, yet equally skilled, counterparts. The artist presents a personal, contemporary interpretation, bringing in various animal scenes and renewing the original pattern work.

The theme is further extended into Toledo’s signature silk scarf collection Kate Toledo Scarves, which is a marriage of her art into high fashion. The Middle Eastern collection of silk scarves is a series based on Islamic museum pieces from the 12th century, which incorporate the intricate Middle Eastern embroidery patterns, and are printed within France and Italy. This 90×90cm collection printed on silk twill with a hand rolled border, is a striking illustration of bold prints that pay homage to the process of translating the past and present visual language of the region’s heritage.