Future Past is a solo exhibition of painted works on canvas by Sydney artist Kathryn Cowen. Exploring the interplay between physical and psychological space: between the real and the imagined, this body of work brings together characters, landscapes and dwellings mined from a variety of photographic sources.
A Buckminster Fuller autonomous dwelling machine, a boy-man in a vintage diving helmet, retro pod homes, coral deserts, and a monster with a ‘third eye’ - these disparate elements are recombined and manipulated through the process of painting to infer new narratives from fragmented moments.
The feature work, Garden of Wonder (2015-17), depicts an adult figure with the head of a child encased in a vintage deep sea diving helmet. This displaced character is connected via its oxygen hose to a strange cactus landscape. The apocalyptic environment is rendered in a hot and heightened palette with vegetation reminiscent of the desert, but also referencing coral forms. It is the elasticity of time, place, space and memory that Kathryn is interested in.
The works in this exhibition have been developed over a number of years. Mnemosyne’s Garden (2016-2018) in particular has been through numerous manifestations. At one stage she fluoresced under ultraviolet light, but then became submerged under the weight of oil. Layer upon layer of material, marks and time.
Visit Future Past, a place where paintings act as portals to a world that is “Other”.
Opening Wednesday 14th March | 6–8pm.
Continues until Sunday 25th March.
Gallery open Tuesday–Saturday 11am–6pm | Sunday 11am–4pm.
About the Artist
Kathryn Cowen is a Sydney based visual artist. Her interest in space, time and memory drives her to create landscapes populated with strange characters and dwellings as portals to a place that is “other”. Kathryn’s most recent solo exhibition at SLOT window gallery in Redfern, held during December 2017, was the result of much experimentation with fluorescent paint. For the first time she used ultraviolet light as a medium to transform; the large scale otherworldly landscape morphed from day to night.
Kathryn studied painting at the National Art School, Sydney, where she was a finalist in the John Olsen Prize for Drawing and winner of the Chroma Paints Award, graduating with a Bachelor Fine Arts (Hons) in 2007. Since this time she has exhibited in both Sydney and Melbourne. Kathryn has been a finalist in the Fisher’s Ghost Art Prize, Waverley Art Prize, Portia Geach Memorial Award, Lethbridge Art Award, Willoughby Art Prize and the National Contemporary Arts Competition. During 2015 Kathryn was a recipient of the National Art School: International and Interstate Artist-in-Residence Program at Hill End, NSW. Work based on this residency was exhibited at The Broadhurst Gallery, Hazlehurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre in September 2017.