Monday, September 24, 2012


 Shared Destinies Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm 2007

I have previously written, on this BLOG, that I have faith in complexity; the kind of complexity which reveals itself as a deep and infinite pool where the ripples of time and life perpetually reveal secrets in the ebb and flow of questioning, wonder, imagination and discovery. However, the kind of complexity some humans create, pours oil over the waters of time and life, obscuring revelation, and neutering wonder and imagination.  It does not nurture life's universal forces or open us to fulsome understanding and appreciation. It pales into dangerous simplicity when compared with the universal complexity of all life forces. Humankind's 'complexity' is illusory as it distracts and detracts.

The recent riots currently experienced around the world, plus the intent of the creators of the anti Islam film which lit the flames of violence, are examples of some of humankind's drive to obscure the wonders and joys of life. I believe, for the majority of people, no matter what their beliefs are, there is no desire to light, and keep fuelling the flames of violence, disrespect, hate and negativity. Yet, we find the world transfixed, angry, incredulous, fearful and anxious in the face of recent happenings which draw us toward the flames, gathering us into the divisionist intent. Compassion erodes and this erosion may well be the ultimate aim?

Compassion Oil on linen 100 x 100 cm 2010

Shared History Oil n linen 80 x 120 cm 2006
The three paintings Shared Destinies [top], Shared History [above] and Histories [below] all 'speak' about the shared human existence: we all share the planet and call it 'home', signs of life ie: heart beat and breath are common, we share age-old stories and symbols, and we all share an urge for identity. Societal identity is manifested in culture and religion, where focusing on outward differences conceals the underlying common urge. Unfortunately, this focus and ultimate concealment fans the flames of humakind's illusory and dengerous 'complexity'.
The three paintings all use the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life symbol as a visual guide to explore ideas of shared history. In all the paintings the tree-of-life connects beyond the human experience, touching the sky and igniting the heavens, connecting us to all of life and its beautiful complexity. I use the word 'beautiful' deliberately because, as regular readers will know, I don't believe beauty has an antonymn. Therefore, the divisionism of the kind created by humankind's illusion is not a problem. Please check out my previous posts BEAUTY GIVES HOPE A CHANCE
Histories  Oil on linen 80 x 200 cm 2005 

 Mountains and Metaphors Oil on linen 2005
Mountains and Metaphors is a painting which 'speaks' about overcoming adversity. The mountain is a metaphor for adversity, which upon ascent reveals new horizons and perspectives, giving fuel for optimism and hope.
The world currently has an enormous 'mountain' to ascend. At the foothills, in the shadow of the mountain, greed, hate, anger, fear, prejudice, judgement and a plethora of other human frailties grip our ankles, maintaining a myopia and giving rise to violent tackle.
Yet if we can twist our ankles, forcing myopia's grip to release, we can ascend the mountain. At the summit all horizons, literal and metaphoric, are revealed; those behind, in front, below and above. Optimism and hope are given a chance, a breath of fresh air. At the summit of the metaphoric mountain humankind's place within the universe can be seen, as myopic sight is untangled to reveal Galactic Horizons and Beyond. The opportunity to see all perspectives, even simultaneously, is exciting. I am optimistic...yet optimism is a choice. Please check out my previous post on optimism MYOPTIMISM
The summit of the mountain gives us an opportunity to 'see' and 'feel' a universal pulse, the rhythm that dances in unison with our hearts. This pulse is eternal, even if humankind is not.
The summit of the mountain gives a chance to breath freely, to 'see' and 'feel' the breath of eternity, its rhythmic inhale and exhale in unison with our own breathing. Eternity's Breath is lent to us for humankind's duration.
The summit of the mountain reveals what true complexity is. It is beautiful. It holds the secrets to life, awaiting perpetual revelation. It is not simple, simplistic or didactic about what is right or wrong. It stimulates questions, wonder and imagination. It is where light shines and where compassion uncovers humankind's illusions of difference to reveal common and shared traits within the human race and the universal rhythm of life. 
Have faith in complexity!
 Earth's Pulse oil on linen 80 x 200 2006
Please check out HERE and HERE

 Infinity Oil on linen 100 x 70cm 2011

 Galactic Horizons and Beyond Oil on linen 90 x 150 cm 2012

Eternity's Breath oil on linen 90 x 150 cm 2012
Cheers Kathryn

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Tree-Of-Life Time Travelling, Oil on linen 90 x 150 cm
Nearly 21 years ago, I was a new Mother. My first born baby girl was, and still is, beautiful. However, as most new parents know, life with a newborn is exhausting. I remember lying on my lounge room couch, feeding my baby...and we both fell asleep. Mine was a heavy, exhausted, deep sleep where I plummeted into an almost alternative state. I dreamt...I was flying...and I awoke suddenly with my arm outstretched reaching for something. I knew I had touched Time.
How did I know this? Well, I just knew. I lay back down, settled my baby and tried to gain some composure. I felt a physical weight, as sense of having been absent and that I had returned with a thump. Nearly 21 years later, I can still recall these feelings, albeit only as a whisper.
So, did I touch Time? Or was this experience a sign of complete physical and mental exhaustion? Maybe the exhaustion relaxed the boundaries that keep us contained inside 'normalcy'? Maybe the exhaustion allowed for a portal to be opened? Who knows! But, it's fun to wonder...and that's what artists do!
So, this story brings me to my new painting Tree-Of-Life Time Travelling. Regular readers will [again] identify my much loved age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life. Two trees 'grow' from the bottom of the painting, indicating that their roots exist outside the painting...with/in Time. The trees are LIFE in all of its fulsome entirity ie: everything! They twist and turn, in a symphony of colour, across a rich crimson 'sky', which could be a sky or space or some other medium existing in the cosmic or quantum 'out there'.  The 'flow' of life is fluid in any, and possibly all directions, across and with time and space. The trees meet somewhere, creating a frisson, a place/space portal where the arrow of time illusion... melts.  
Even if we never actually time travel...thank goodness for wonder and imagination!
Maybe I watched too much Dr Who when I was a kid? Hey, I still watch it. I love Dr. Who, the Time Travelling Lord. The Tardis is Dr. Who's time travelling vehicle. Vehicle! That makes me think of time as a kind of 'road network' and we all know that even here on Earth roads can take us in a multiple of directions. We don't have to always go forward, never to return to places! Imagine how much more complex, exciting and sophisticated the 'roads' of time are. And, imagine travelling on them, especially in vehicles/dimensions that appear small on the outside, but are huge on the inside, like Dr. Who's marvellous Tardis.
I have uploaded the painting below because it is one of my 'road' paintings. I painted a few about ten years ago, just after my divorce.  Notice the multiple horizons and how the road snakes its way through them. The word 'distance' in the title does not have to mean a literal one point perspective distance. I know some may think it is a long bow, but I can see similarities between Tree-Of-Life Time Travelling painted in 2012 and Driving Into The Distance painted in 2002!
In my last post Untethering Landscape: Revolutionary? I write about untethering our ideas of landscape from Earth-bound perspectives...maybe if we do this we'll 'see' the 'roads' of time?

Driving Into The Distance Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm 2002


I attended a really stimulating lecture, at the University of Queesland Art Museum last Saturday. It was co-hosted with the UQ students' Society of Fine Arts [SOFA] The guest lecturer was Prof. Mark Ledbury from the University of Sydney, Department of Art History and Film Studies. He is also Director of the Power Institute 

The title of the lecture was  'Eccentric, Capricious, Bizarre... Thinking About History Painting'.  Prof. Ledbury's passionate and animated presentation of 18th century history painting propelled me back in time. Yes, I felt I was there! His description of artists' manoeuvres across a range of concerns, from choice of subject matter to composition, humanised them in a way which my previous academic experiences with 18th century history painting had never ever hinted at. He brought the era alive, in a way where, as an artist myself, I resonated with their struggles, gambles and games. Prof. Ledbury is currently writing a new book called An Eccentric History of History Painting. [You can see photos of the UQAM/SOFA event here ]

History, taught well, certainly can take a person back in time. I know it's not the same as a literal transportation of a physical body back or forth in time. However, until vehicles/dimensions are created/found for us to 'transport' ourselve through time, I am content with history....delivered in the way Prof. Ledbury 'performed' my 'vehicle'. Oh...and don't forget... imagination!

This takes me to the BIG HISTORY project founded by Bill Gates and Australian academic David Christian. Yes, BIG HISTORY is described as an 'Introduction to Everything'. Here's a quote from BIG HISTORY'S Home Page:

Big history takes a big perspective evolving study in independent disciplines to a holistic view of our inter-related universe. Before you know it, physics, chemistry, biology, ancient civilizations, and contemporary human history suddenly fit together.

I am pleased to say that there are a number of Australian schools who have successfully applied to be pilot schools for the BIG HISTORY project. A study of history...going back in time and learning... surely must help pave the roads of future time.

The Tattersall's Landscape Art Award is on public exhibition until Friday 21 September at Waterfront Place, 1 Eagle St, Brisbane. My painting is Cosmic Dust You can see all the paintings HERE


Sunday, September 09, 2012


Cosmic Dust Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm

This year's, entry by invitation, Tattersall's Club Landscape $25,000 Art award opened last week at Brisbane's Tattersall's Club. The winner is well known Queensland artist Ian Smith. I have known Ian for many, many years and it's exciting to see someone you know win such a great award. Of course I would have liked to have won! But, I have been in this game [ie: art world] for a long time, and I count my blessings for having been invited to exhibit in such a strong exhibition.

You can see all the paintings in the award exhibiton online HERE 

If you live in, or close to, Brisbane you can see the paintings at their public exhibition, from Monday 10 September until Friday 21 September 7am- 6 pm at Waterfront Place, 1 Eagle St in Brisbane's CBD.

My entry Cosmic Dust is above. On the opening night, and at a 'meet and greet the artists' jazz night on Friday, I chatted to many people about Cosmic Dust. I always love a chance to chat!

Please click HERE to read the post I wrote just after I finished Cosmic Dust

Accompanying each painting in the Tattersall's exhibition is an artist's statement. This is mine below:


Cosmic Dust simultaneously suggests the multiple perspectives and horizons, in the close and far distances, existing between the nano and vast. This painting, seemingly a landscape of Earth in Space, untethers landscape from Earth-bound perspectives...suggesting that maybe a sub-atomic particle or even a whole Universe can provide new perspectives of and for landscape.

In our globalised world, in which we live locally, new perspectives [seen simultaneously?] may hold clues to how to sustain life on Earth, for indeed humankind has no other landscape/place to call ‘home’.

The circle of two trees, created with my much loved age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life symbol, represents life as it viscerally branches out and roots itself into the landscape of all existence. The trees are encircled by white light, representing everything from Earth's atmosphere, to reflected sunlight, to divine light …even the flash of light at the Big Bang…an afterglow? 

The title Cosmic Dust suggests that subatomic, atomic, human, planetary and universal entities are the dust created by the Big Bang. Thus, the painting can be seen variously as many landscapes; perhaps Earth or the Universe in Space, maybe a drop of water or perhaps a spec of dust floating across a dusky country Queensland sky?


In my chats with people, at the Tattersall's exhibition, the idea of untethering landscape from Earth-bound perspectives seemed to strike a chord. Why? I suspect it holds the possibility of discovery and the potential for new ways of doing things....and I don't mean only new ways of painting...but rather that taking different perspectives may just reveal answers to questions of sustainability [across the ambit of human pursuits] and maybe...just maybe....provoke better questions that then unfold into new discoveries.

It seemed almost revolutionary, at a landscape exhibition, to suggest untethering landscape from Earth! But, if everything in the universe, from the quantum to the cosmic [with humans placed somwhere in the matrix], is the 'dust' created by the Big Bang, then 'landscape' lives within us...we are the landscape.

Please read my post TO GROK LANDSCAPE  for more on the idea that we are not separate from the landscape...and I don't mean just the Earth-bound one!


In my last post I mentioned I had been to the Nindooinbah Woolshed exhibition opening..opened by well known Brisbane Art Dealer, Bruce Heiser.

Here are a couple of photos from the evening:

Above: Here's me with my very talented artist [printmaker] friend Wayne Singleton. You can see one of his artworks on the right. It is a handcoloured relief block print. My painting Sap of Life is behind us.

Please check out Wayne's WEBSITE  to see more of his wonderful work.

Above: Here's me again with one of the fantastic curators of the Nindooinbah exhibition, Susan Short. My paintings Halo [on left] and Finding The Light [on right] are behind us.

Above: And, here is a photo of the Nindooinbah example of a quintessentially Australian building.

Until next time!

Sunday, September 02, 2012


                                DETAIL of new painting...still to be finished Time Travel

This post is going to be a newsy one. Lots to tell.


I am very excited about of my paintings Earth's Pulse, which I uploaded in my last post Six Years-Celebration, has been featured on Scientific America's Art/Science Blog Symbiartic.

They are featuring an artwork per day for the month of September...and mine is the first! Click HERE to see it. And, please Facebook 'Like' it or Tweet it or other....!

While you in the Art/Science mindset...check out Symbiartic's two bloggers' sites:
Glendon Mellow's The Flying Trilobite
Kalliopi Monoyios Scientific Communications and Consulting

AND Again with a Art/Science mindset please make sure you read about Brisbane artist Joannah Underhill's amazing experience as artist in residence at the University of Queensland Institute of Molecular Biology...please check out my note below!


I have created a couple of new 'galleries' on my website.
One is Adam and Eve...And That Tree  and the other is Cosmology

Adam and Eve...And That Tree exhibits five paintings that directly reference the story, shared by the three Abrahamaic religions, of Adam and Eve.

                                    In The Garden of Eden Oil on linen 50 x 94 cm

Cosmology exhibits a selection of my paintings where I explore the close and far distances between the quantum and cosmic.

Ad Infinitum? Oil on linen 50 x 50 cm


Highlife Downs Living  has featured an article about me and my work in their new Spring Edition. The terrific photographs were taken by Gillian Van Niekerk from VannPhotography. Also check out Highlife Downs Living Facebook page, where their profile banner [see image below taken by Gillian Van Niekerk] is a close up image of one of my paintings, Radiance. The magazine is published quarterly and features news from the Darling Downs region. Check out their 'About' page.

Now, I know I do not live on the Downs any more, but I am a Downs girl having grown up on my parent's grain farm outside Dalby...and then, after marrying, spending eighteen years living in Goondiwindi. The girl might leave the country...BUT the country never leaves the girl!

Detail Radiance oil on linen 92 x 208 cm


I delivered my entry on Friday in readiness for judging this coming week, and the opening  of the exhibition and prize announcements, on Wednesday 5th September. The Tattersall's landscape Award is an invitation award, so I am very happy to have been asked again this year.

Regular readers will know of my thoughts about untethering landscape from Earth, so that we are free to take different perspectives, even simultaneously. In an age where research burrows into vast quantum worlds and intimate cosmic places, focusing on an Earth-bound idea of landscape may mean we miss something, individually and collectively!

So, my entry is not an Earth bound landscape, but it could be of the Earth, but then again it could be a Universe... or a spec of dust. Shall keep you posted!


I went to the cocktail party opening of the Nindooinbah Woolshed exhibiton last night. AND, what a fabulous party it was. The exhibition of ten artists, including me, looked fabulous in the old, but restored woolshed. The shed looked like a medieval banqueting hall, with fairy lights highlighting rafters and a magnificent chandelier hanging in the centre. Nindooinbah is a historical homestead and property an hour's drive south of Brisbane.

The exhibition is raising funds for the local Quarry Action Group, which is fighting to stop a massive quarry in the area. The region also has issues with coals seam gas exploration. I heard some frightening and amazing stories from locals last night!

The exhibition continues today 2nd September, with a high tea and then open to the public. Below is one of my paintings in the exhibition. The upper 'landscape' becomes a 'landscape' of $ signs at the bottom. The tree is the last witness to the commoditisation of Earth, but the white light offers a glimmer of hope.

Last Witness Oil on linen 50 x 50 cm
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words: When Science Is Art

Last Thursday night I attended a fascinating function at Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art [GOMA], but hosted by the University of Queensland's Insitutute of Molecular Biology [IMB]. It was an exhibition of paintings by Joannah Underhill, plus a presentation by her and Dr Nick Hamilton, with an introduction by the Director of the IMB Prof. Brandon Wainwright.

Joannah has been an artist-in-residence at the IMB. She is also a cancer survivor. Her presentation was compelling, intellectual, emotional and poetic. It was obvious that both Dr. Hamilton and Prof Wainwright were deeply affected by Joannah's presence at the IMB. Indeed, I spoke with a number of researchers and they all effusively spoke about how an artist's way of  'seeing' provoked them to look and see with different and even new eyes. Please check out Joannah's Residency page.

This is a link to the GOMA event's invitation. Although it has already happened, the invitation provided information, links and details you may be interested in. Please click HERE

Well, I think that's all.