Kathryn Cowen: upcoming artist-in-residence

Kathryn Cowen with her work A Field Guide To Reality, 2015-19, acrylic, aerosol and oil on canvas

Kathryn Cowen is a Sydney based multidisciplinary artist working across the fields of painting, sculpture and installation. Drawing on a diverse range of influences from cosmology and literature, to neuroscience and psychology; Kathryn reflects on our experience, understanding and perceptions of reality from a physical and psychological perspective. A ‘hyper real’ colour palette is a central feature of her work, used to prompt a shift in perception and creates portals to a place that is ‘Other'. 

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 regularly in solo and group exhibitions across a variety of commercial, artist run and institutional galleries. Kathryn has been a finalist in the Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award (2019), the Fisher’s Ghost Art Award (2019, 2015), the Calleen Art Prize (2018), the Waverley Art Prize (2015), and the Portia Geach Memorial Award (2006). She has participated in the NAS Artist-in-Residence Program at Hill End, NSW and the Movers and Shapers Collective Residency at Turondale, NSW. Her work is held in collections throughout Australia, the Netherlands and the USA.

Kathryn Cowen, Field Guide Specimens (studio installation), 2019, seed pods, twigs, date palm inflorescence branches, shells, rocks, expanding foam, paint, laboratory glassware, plastic figurines

During my residency at Gunyah I plan to work on components of an installation using found natural objects and small sculptures, housed in scientific glassware. This new work will present specimens from a post apocalyptic world where the scale and relationship between fauna and fauna has been inverted, minuscule life forms rule and the light we live by has changed. The work is intended to question our ecological future and invite the viewer to imagine alternate realities and future biological forms. The COVID-19 pandemic has diminished our perceived human power. Desperately peering into microscopes looking for an answer, how will we adapt and grow in our relationship to nature in this new world order?

While at Gunyah I will continue fossicking and refine this work in progress for presentation as part of the Movers and Shapers Women and the Land' sculpture exhibition to be held at Hazelhurst Arts Centre in 2021.

You can see more of Kathryn's work on her website kathryncowen.com and instagram instagram.com/kathryn.cowen