River Language

My exhibition ‘River Language’ is from the 5 – 23 May 2020 at Arthouse Gallery, Sydney. In the current limitations with the Covid 19 virus the exhibition is able to be viewed by appointment, a video walkthrough and descriptions of my work and processes are also available on Vimeo.

I have contributed editorial to the upcoming Art Almanac magazine which has dedicated its next edition to the Covid 19 virus and its affects on current exhibiting artists and commercial galleries in this time of restrictions and closures.


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‘The way you came’, Group exhibition

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Included in the recent group exhibition, ‘The way you came’, at Arthouse Gallery, Sydney, bringing together a selection of the gallery’s stable of artists, exploring the notion of landscape. The exhibition contemplates ideas such as the continual return to and rekindling of the past in order to move forward through to the present.

“meditative and transformative, the works spring as much from the physical topographies as they do from the psychological, emotional and spiritual affiliations. They function as revised narratives..”

“no way to make sense of a world that wouldn’t let you pass, except to call an end to the way you had come..” (an excerpt from David Whyte, ‘Finisterre’, Pilgrim, 2012)

My work pictured above in situ, ‘Hawkesbury’, acrylic on linen, 137 x 152 cm, 2018.

Article in Artist Profile magazine

My work is featured in the current Artist Profile magazine, Issue 41, pages 130 to 132, in the Process section. In my own words I discuss the direction and processes of my current art practice.

A few excerpts from my article;

” My work has moved away from any specific landscape to become my own inner recollections, a reduced and abstracted essence of the land. The river, the trees, the rocks and broad spatial vistas become a series of signs or totems”

“Embedded in my works are memories and recollections of my youth, swimming in the Wollombi Brook, with its shallow, amber gumleaf-stained edges moving to the cool mysterious deep green umber depths. for me the river is a place of connection; a journey undertaken and a vehicle back to a slower pace and sense of place.”

“abstracted gestural calligraphic marks float above an expansive space of bleached and stained canvas. Colours transfuse from pinks to gold to blues, depending on the heat of the day. The marks made on the land are like a text or a series of musical notes, an implied language to be understood or deciphered. The works acknowledge our need to understand the land in order to work with and preserve ts fragile ecosystems.”

‘Land’ exhibition, Manly Art Gallery & Museum

An installation of my work, ‘Totems of the land’, consisting of a painting and five ceramics, has been selected for the exhibition, ‘Land’, at Manly Art Gallery & Museum. The exhibition has been curated by Katherine Roberts, senior curator at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum, and explores the notion of land. A noun, a verb, a place, an idea, a possibly, a presence, a contested space, Landscape, headland, wasteland, landfill, landmine. The exhibition runs from the 3rd of November to the 3rd of December 2017. I will be participating in Artists ‘In Conversation’, Sunday 19th of November, 3 – 4 pm, and High Tea for Artists & Friends, Sunday 3rd December, 3 – 4 pm, all welcome.


In my work the river, trees, rocks and the broad spatial vistas of an enduring Australian landscape become a series of signs or totems. The land is reduced to a sequence of abstracted gestural marks, which like a text are a language to be deciphered, acknowledging our need to understand and work with the land in order to preserve its fragile ecosystems.

There is a relationship and a cross fertilisation between the hand built ceramic form and acrylic paint on linen. Iron oxide of the stoneware clay bleeds through numerous glaze firings, mirrored by an evolution and layering of acrylic paint on the linens surface. It is a conversation between paint and clay.

The land is embodied in the vessel forms and in a poetic language of a totemic landscape.


Medium:  Acrylic on linen, Stoneware ceramic with glaze, two timber stands

Dimensions: Painting 137 x 153 cm, Five Ceramics; 35 x 18 x 18 cm, 51 x 37 x 28 cm, 41 x 13 x 25 cm, 29 x 38 x 9 cm, 42 x 33 x 32 cm


On Paper Exhibition, ArtHouse Gallery

In April 2017 I was part of a group exhibition of twenty two artists from ArtHouse Gallery, Sydney. The show investiagted works on paper, paper as a fertile contemporary medium that allows for experimentation.

The drawings I contributed to the show were mixed media on sheets of Ingres paper, using oil stick, acrylic, ink, crayon and pencil. I found drawing with this range of materials a fun experience, and hope to retransfer some of this energy and freedom to my paintings, also focusing on the subject of the river in the landscape.

‘Night journeys’, mixed media on paper, 96 x 65 cm, 2017, and ‘Epicurus and the simple life’, mixed media on paper, 96 x 65 cm, 2017

Drawing Conversations, Exhibition at the National Art School

In September 2016 I contributed a ceramic work ‘Calligraphic marks of the land’ to the group exhibition, ‘Drawing Conversations:Exhibition’ at the National At School, Sydney. School lecturers invited fellow artists to participate in an exhibition exploring the notion of drawing. I was invited by the painter Deborah Marks. There was an interesting connection between the artist and invitee artists works, and a range of works from video, sculpture to installation.

Open Studio, if you are in the neighbourhood drop by, the 15th and 16th of August

A national event, Australian Ceramics Association’s, Opens Studios, to be held on the 15th & 16th of August 2015 , 10 am to 4pm, ceramic studios and artists open their working spaces to the public, see listings of studios, http://www.australianceramics.com/events/category/open-studios/.


“This August hundreds of potters and ceramic artists around the country will open their studios to the public for the third annual Australian Ceramics Open Studios. The event is hosted by The Australian Ceramics Association and shines a spotlight on the diverse practice of Australian artists working today in clay.

According to Shannon Garson, President of The Australian Ceramics Association, the event is an inspiring opportunity for members of the community to step inside the creative spaces of contemporary potters and ceramicists who continue to develop their unique voice within this ancient practice.

‘We have a strong ceramics community in Australia and presently we’re enjoying the growing appetite the community has for unique handmade objects. There has been a shift in thinking where people want to know how ceramic objects are made and who makes them.’
‘It’s an exciting time for clay workers to have such receptive audiences and the open studios event is a chance for the community to get to know their local potters and for potters to share their rich knowledge and skills,’ Shannon said.”

My studio will be open, Wharf Street, Marrickville, NSW, where I will display a range of work. http://www.australianceramics.com/event/acos-kate-dorrough-marrickville-nsw/


BeLonging Exhibition, ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery











I was selected as part of the Australian Ceramic Association’s group exhibition ‘BeLonging: Embodied Commentaries Inspired by Place’, held during the Australian Ceramics Triennale, 2015, ‘Stepping Up’. The works were all under 15 cm in size and exhibited at the ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery, ACT, for the duration of the Triennale. My work, ‘Marrickville, father and child’ (in the image foreground), “refers to my personal sense of belonging. Living in suburban multi cultural Marrickville, Sydney, with a new baby. Walking the local streets I have become familiar with the suburbs layering of cultures and histories. Documenting the front gardens, and its slowly disappearing lemon and orange trees, figurines, urns and architectural fetaures. My work loosely references the English Staffordshire ceramic tradition, celebrating the suburban and the domestic.” 

















Works from the exhibition, and works in progress in my studio for the Marrickville series.


Finalist for the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize 2015

I have been selected as a finalist for the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize for 2015. An annual painting competition depicting a New South Wales subject ‘en plein air’.

“The term ‘en plein air’ refers to the practice of painting out of doors, in direct engagement with nature, where the transitory effects of light can be observed and recorded. It has a history in Europe of several hundred years, the most famous exponents including Salvator Rosa and Claude Lorraine in the 17th Century and Corot and the Barbizon school painters in the 19th. In an Australian context, the Impressionists of the late 19th century, including Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts were devoted to painting out of doors, and thus brought a new understanding of Australian light and landscape to the public through their work. Fred Williams, Australia’s great master of landscape painting in the twentieth century, used studies painted out of doors as the foundation of his work. These artists and others established a strong tradition of painting ‘en plein air’ in Australia that continues to this day.
Contemporary Australian artists paint ‘en plein air’ both in the bush and the city. For many it is a private aspect of their work, rarely exhibited, which provides a complement to their studio work. For others it is their principal method of working. Australia’s climate and landscape has long proven conducive to working out of doors and continues to fascinate the public.” 

My painting is two canvases, total size, 40.5 x 82.5 cm, ‘Denbigh, Inside and outside the home gate’, (near Cobbity, NSW) acrylic on canvas, 2015. It was great to be out of doors painting, in the beautiful green countryside near Cobbitty on the outskirts of Sydney, once an old rural and pastoral area. It also interesting the longer you look and are present in a landscape the more there is an abstraction of form, I likened the simplifying of mark making to notes on a musical score. My work depicts the landscape inside and outside the home gate, showing the different colours, trees, and roles the environments signify on a rural property. The exhibition will be held in the Fountain Court at parliament House from wednesday 17th June until Friday 31 July. Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5pm.