14-25 March 2018
107 Redfern St Redfern NSW
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.
Future Past: where paintings act as portals to a world that is “Other”.