Kate Bellis was born in1969 and spent her childhood on a small farm in Devon. At the age of 17 she decided to leave this isolated rural environment and study photography at Nottingham trent University, from where she graduated in 1991 with a BA(Hons) degree.
In 1992 she was an award winner at the Observer Young Photojournalist of the Year Competition. This gave her the chance to travel across China and into Tibet. The article that came from this work was published in the Independent on Sunday magazine. Since then Kate has travelled widely with her Leica camera, from Ireland to India, Uganda to Kurdistan. These articles and commissions often dealt with people and cultures that were in some way under threat, and with the strong relationship to the land around them.
Kate settled in Derbyshire towards the end of the 1990s and began a series of photo essays with the Derbyshire hill farming community. Following this, 'Gathering' was commissioned by VARC (visual Arts in rural communities). A project working alongside the Northumberland Hill Farming families with acclaimed Sculptor Sally Matthews. The exhibitions that came from the Derbyshire work and 'Gathering' have toured widely, reaching both rural and urban audiences, nationally and abroad.
Kate has published two books, 'On The Edge' (2001) and 'Gathering' (2005). Her images have been published in many national and international newspapers and magazines, including the Guardian, The Times, The Independent on Sunday and the American photo Review.
Kate lives with zoologist, Professor Karim Vahed , their young Son Gabriel, and a menagerie of furred and feathered beasts. Their home is a very old stone cottage at the bottom of a steep wooded track on the side of a hill near Wirksworth in the Derbyshire Dales.