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Catherine M. Grant

(b Castle Eden, nr Hartlepool).

English sculptor, installation artist, curator and writer. She studied at Sunderfield Polytechnic between 1980 and 1983 and Goldsmiths’ College, London, between 1984 and 1986. In the early 1990s she used furniture and domestic objects as sculptural materials, reworking them so that they became art objects, as with Shadow Box (1990; see 1997 exh. cat.). Here a padded leather seat, which seems to be a typical gallery bench, is echoed by an abstract wall relief, also in leather; closer inspection reveals that the latter is sewn into squares that could be the interior of the seat, inducing the sensation both of sitting on the installation and of looking at what is normally ignored or unseen in the gallery. For Gold Card (1992; see 1997 exh. cat.) Smith placed gold credit cards bearing the message ‘I wanna be your fantasy’ in various phone booths along Charing Cross Road in London, adjacent to cards advertising the services of prostitutes; the invitation to use the card to buy intimacy linked ‘acceptable’ consumer lust with the taboo sale of the fantasises on display next to them. Smith often created viewing situations that encourage a reassessment of the values represented by everyday objects and scenarios, transforming the ordinary into trophies or mementos that lay bare uncomfortable associations. In the sculpture ...