Sunday, August 14, 2016


 Scoping The Abyss Gouache on paper 19 x 22 cm 2016

Taking a cue from social media sites where headlines grab attention I've decided to channel the grab-line! Maybe not as successfully as most media sites, and thankfully for good reason.  I don't think "10 Things You Did Not Know About Kathryn" is really going to grab attention or "10 Things Kathryn Keeps Secret" or "Kathryn's Most Irritating 10 Habits: According To Her Children".

However, to tickle my own humour I decided that I'd list 10 things that interest, irk, inspire me. They are all related to my art practice either closely or tangentially. And, it helps me celebrate my 10th year blogging - posting consistently once a week August 2006 - August 2016!

But, before I go onto my list. Why did I choose the painting above Scoping The Abyss? 

The drone's scoping devices seek out the abyss where insurgency and terror lies, but I wonder if the scoping actually creates the abyss? Moving away from the military connotation let's think of the painting another way. The ubiquitous nature of connectivity, via an array of devices enable monitoring, surveillance, data collection, data retention and targeting. This creates a virtual abyss where, for example, misleading headlines about celebrities, politicians, events etc throw us into an abyss of superficiality and vacuous diversion. The result is a kind of inertia - maybe an abyss in itself?

Here's an example of being 'targeted' - I googled Suburu cars - yes daydreaming about a new car - and within minutes Suburu advertisements had appeared on my Facebook page. Helpful - NO. Diversionary - yes for a minute or two. Slightly creepy - YES!

Me with two paintings - I am 14 in this photo.
I exhibited in an adult show when I was 14 and sold my first painting at the exhibition.


I have been inspired by it for decades and I continue to  see how its symbolic potency intersects with contemporary life. It has meant something across cultures and religions for eons and I propose that we ignore it at our own peril.

Beacon Oil on linen 92 x 102 cm 2014

The scientific study of the universe across time and scale helps me with my fascination with perspective , literal and metaphoric. 

Cosmic Auroboros Oil on linen 120 x 150 cm 2012
This post for this painting is the most popular on my BLOG 

My current M. Phil research is focused on militarised technology, an incredibly fascinating but somewhat scary area of technological development. I have a particular interest in drones! You can see this in a few of the paintings in this post and in many of my recent posts. 

New Shoots Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016

I grew up in rural Queensland. How we humans 'see' landscape is, I propose, an important element in how our species might survive this century. I combine the tree-of-life, cosmology, technology and more recently, militarised technology into my landscapes where I experiment with literal and metaphoric perspective. Disrupted Horizon [below] is one example of how I combine my various inspirations. 

Disrupted Horizon Gouache on paper 10.5 x 24.5 cm 2016

I have two spaces/studios in my house. One is the garage [two photos below] and the other is a funny room that used to house the hot water system. The latter is used for my works on paper and the former for my bigger oil paintings. Both a really messy. I love my studios.

I love painting. I have previously sculpted with various mediums [clay, concrete, assemblage]. I have also worked with etching, screen printing and lithography. I have worked in installation including one where video was an integral part of the work. I have had experience with photography as my brother is a keen photographer. As a young teenager he had a dark room in one of the outbuildings on the farm we grew up on. None of these mediums gets my daydreaming, thinking, problem solving like painting does. 

Painting at Kindergarten - a few decades ago!

7. VISUAL ARTS POLICY - This is an irk!
Two policies introduced in 2010 and 2011 by the Australian Labour Government of the time have severely and detrimentally impacted on visual artists' earning abilities, plus the flow on effect to various suppliers and dealers. The LNP Government, since election in 2013, has not addressed either issue. I get on my sopabox about these two things - but won't here. I'll just note what they are. These two policies are: 
  • 2011 Changes to the status of art/collectibles as an investment in Self Managed Super Funds. 
  • 2010 The introduction of the Artists' Resale Royalty Scheme. 

My exhibition at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation in late 2005 is a highlight of my career. I sat with the exhibition each day over two weeks and met the most amazing people from all over the region, Africa and Eastern Europe. The conversations I had with so many of these people, men and women, have had a profound influence on me. I KNOW that the arts can help create bridges across cultures - BUT unfortunately governments, especially Western ones, often see the arts as a show and tell type exercise or opportunity. I have witnessed this a few times...sadly.

At the opening of my exhibition at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation 2005. 
L to R:Clementine Fox,  Mr Khalfan Asst Undersecretary Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation, Hon Rod Welford Queensland Minister for Education and the Arts,  Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox. 

I enjoy public speaking - weird I know.

10. M. PHIL
I am a full-time student at the University of Queensland and loving it - most of the time! I am investigating how two Australian artists George Gittoes and Jon Cattapan represent militarised technology in their paintings. ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING!!! Both artists are remarkable. 

The topic fed from my own work and now the research is feeding back into my work. Also, as I paint I seem to work through some of my academic ideas, which result in new insights. My own work is not part of the degree, but once I have finished the degree I will have a body of work that reflects how it inspired me. 

George Gittoes has an exhibition "Night Vision" here in Brisbane at Mitchell Fine Art Gallery right now - it closes 20 August. If you are in Brisbane you MUST go and see it. It's confronting, but the integrity of the work exudes - George has worked in war and conflict zones for decades and pays witness to the horror of war in multi-layered ways. 



I have again been invited to be a finalist in the Tattersall's Landscape $30,000 Art Award.

I deliver my painting on the 30th August.

The exhibition will be at the Tattersall's Club, Brisbane 5 - 9 September and then it relocates to Riverside Centre 12 - 23 September. 


1 comment:

Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox said...

From Leticia- with many thanks!
Thank you Kathryn for posting this blog that explains some of your
professional, artistic, and philosophical story. I am a 'fan' of yours
and feel indeed honored to know you. I am more at 'peace' visually with
your earlier works and find them 'dreamlike'; however I appreciate the
contrasts you provide in your latest works and the way you present the
thought provoking questions about the technology we find submerged in
our modern day living. The tree of life is so peaceful and flowing
compared to the starkness and boldness of warfare technology.

You have so much to offer and so much to say. You keep us thinking. I
look forward to following your journey further and wondering about your
statements and ideas brought to us both visually and in word.