biography and artist statement

Kathryn Cowen


Kathryn Cowen is a Sydney based visual artist working primarily with the medium of paint. 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 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 solo and group exhibitions across a variety of commercial, artist run and institutional galleries. Kathryn has been a finalist in the Calleen Art Prize, 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 participated in the National Art School: International and Interstate Artist-in-Residence Program at Hill End, NSW; and in 2018 joined the Movers and Shapers Collective for a residency at Turondale, NSW.

Kathryn’s 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. In early 2018, Kathryn held her most recent solo exhibition Future Past at 107 Redfern, NSW. Following on from this, in June 2019 she presented The Land Of The Green Ghosts, a collaboratively conceived exhibition with Melbourne artists Naomi Bishop and Valentina Palonen which explored the many subtle and complex layers of the natural world; an ecological exhibition tinged with darkness, but awash with colour and hope.