I was invited by the painter, Tim Allen, represented by Defiance Gallery, to join an artist trip in May 2022 exploring the beautiful Blue Moutains. Creating plein air works inspired by being in the landscape was a breath of fresh air, a time to reflect and experiment with new approaches in responding to the bush. I brought minimal materials including an old sheet, fabric and fabric paints, which I tore, reassembled and painted with calligraphic marks, approaching fabric as I would a painting. I really like the insitu images of the fabric assemblages suggesting prayer mats in the landscape. Continuing this I photographed drawings produced on site. Rolling up the fabric works to create a bundle, I then unrolled and hand stitched the works at home. The completed work became, ‘Repair and Mending Time’. The lines of fabric when stitched became an abstracted drawing at the back of the work, creating a two sided piece, with the addition of cutting through the layers of fabric to further create abstracted shapes. Finally introducing sequins and beads as additional marks and texture.
I have just completed a new work experimenting with textiles and stitching. Continuing on from my large textile work part of my installation at the North Sydney Art Prize, 2022, at the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability, ‘Shrine to Aqueous Depths’, I have been sewing a collage of textiles that I created on a recent artists trip to the Blue Mountains.
Inspired by the Meroogal House, a Historic Houses property in Nowra, NSW, and created for the Meroogal Art Prize, 2022, the work is inspired by this historical setting. Hand stitched fabric echoes generations of women within this house, repairing and mending over time, acknowledging the essence of making do, using whats at hand, and a love of fabric and the domestic sphere. The work can be showen either side, both sides revealing a traditionally concealed back, where stitching becomes unleashed from a pragmatic functionality to an abstracted contemporary drawing, with exposed cuttings and embellished with sequins. It is a commemoration to the simplicity of the everyday. 150 x 150 cm, Fabric, stitching, sequins and beads, 2022.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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
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.
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/