The Land Of The Green Ghosts
Naomi Bishop (MEL)
Kathryn Cowen (SYD)
Valentina Palonen (MEL)
Broadhurst Gallery, Hazelhurst Arts Centre
15th - 25th June 2019
Saturday 15th June 2-4pm
782 Kingsway Gymea NSW 2227
P 8536 5700
This collaboratively conceived exhibition explores the many subtle and complex layers of the natural world through the unique perspectives of three contemporary female painters, Naomi Bishop, Kathryn Cowen and Valentina Palonen. Each artist hopes to offer a new standpoint of the natural world, and the issues facing it, and are unapologetically driven by a subjective response to both landscape and to painting practice. While each artist has her own approach – albeit psychological, spiritual, or environmental – they each surrender to the sensuous materiality of paint and allow process-based practice to take precedence.
The artists present canvases saturated with the colours of implied bioluminescence, aurora borealis and other natural wonders. It is this sense of wonder the artists wish to share with the viewer, a world renewed, seen afresh, without the constraints of rationality or the pervasive mundane. They put no stock into the expected, the accepted, and the regurgitated; but stalwartly embrace painting as an avenue to discovery. They come together to explore our connection to the environment and the different ways that we perceive it in this time of grave ecological change.
The artists invite you to delve into ‘The Land of The Green Ghosts’.
Naomi Bishop has been exhibiting internationally since graduating with a Masters of Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art in London in 2003. Focused primarily on painting, her work has been exhibited at The Whitechapel Gallery in London, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Fondation Hippocrene and Galerie Nicolas Silin in Paris, Arteles Creative Centre, Finland, and The National University of Taiwan,Taipei. She has presented several solo exhibitions at Galerie Nicolas Silin, Paris and in Melbourne she has presented solo exhibitions at Rubicon, Blindside, Kings, and Alternating Current Art Space. Naomi has been included in curated exhibitions and has received grants from Creative Victoria, The Menzies Foundation, The Wellcome Trust and The Australia Council. During 2014, Naomi was Artist in Residence at The Arteles Creative Centre in Finland, in 2015 at Heritage Hill, Dandenong, and in 2018 at the Town Hall Gallery in Hawthorn, Victoria. Naomi Bishop’s work is represented in the collections of The Whitechapel Gallery, La Banque Postale, Rachel Whiteread, Pierre Pradié, and private collections in France, Spain, Germany, Finland, United Kingdom, Ireland, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and The United States. Her work has been featured in FAINT Magazine, Gallery magazine (NGV), Elle Decoration and Tèlérama (France), and Time Out and The Guardian (UK).
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 regularly in Sydney in artist run, commercial and institutional gallery spaces. Kathryn has been a finalist in various prizes including the Calleen Art Prize, the Fisher’s Ghost Art Prize, the Waverley Art Prize and the Portia Geach Memorial Award. During 2015 she participated in the National Art School: International and Interstate Artist-in-Residence Program at Hill End, NSW; and in 2018 she was involved in a residency at Turondale with the Movers and Shapers Collective.
instagram : @kathryn.cowen
Valentina Palonen is a Finnish-Australian artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her work combines figuration, vivid colour and motifs of the natural world to respond to affective experiences of the environment. She has exhibited extensively across a range of gallery spaces and undertaken residencies both locally and abroad, including at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris (2015) and the University of Tasmania. She has been the recipient of various awards including an Australia Council New Work grant (2012) and NAVA’s Janet Holmes à Court Artist grant (2012). Her work has also been shortlisted for a range of prizes including the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship (2013), Keith & Elisabeth Murdoch Travelling Fellowship (2011 & 2015), The Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize (2016), and more recently The Albany Art Prize (2018). Valentina has completed a Master of Fine Art (by research) (2012) at the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Melbourne, and is currently a PhD candidate at RMIT University. She is represented by Gould Creative (VIC).
Movers and Shapers Exhibition
Broadhurst Gallery, Hazlehurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre
Sat 25th August - Tues 4 Sept
Interview with Andrew Frost
The Art Life
14 March 2018
107 Redfern St Redfern NSW
opening: Wednesday 14th March, 6-8pm
exhibition dates:14-25 March 2018
SLOT window gallery
38 Botany Rd Alexandria NSW
2 Dec 2017 - 6 Jan 2018
To Hill End and Beyond
Hazlehurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, NSW
2 - 12 September 2017
The Corner Store Gallery, Orange, NSW
Thu, Jun 29 - Sun, Jul 16, 2017
Fisher's Ghost Art Prize 2015
Campbelltown Art Centre, NSW
The Faraway Nearby
3rd - 20th June 2015
191 Wilson St Newtown NSW 2042 Australia
0425 253 476
The disciplines of art and science – at times almost indistinguishable, and at others irreconcilable – are twin avenues in the very human search for underlying patterns, substance and meaning. Where the two often diverge is in the nature of the conclusions they seek: science gives the impression of moving inexorably towards a logical endpoint, a complete unravelling of the mysteries of the universe; art tends to revel in the inherent un-knowableness of things.
In her paintings, Kathryn Cowen employs a recognisably scientific vernacular. Her subjects include a hazmat-suited figure probing a pulsating vortex; a man with wood-and-fabric wings outstretched like Icarus, testing an early flying device; people in lab coats huddled over imaginary desks and microscopes; figures shrouded in viewing and protective devices that are equal parts nostalgia, science and steampunk. Scientific hypotheses are often wildly imaginative and creative, and Cowen’s poetic treatment of imagery, sourced and re-configured from a combination of New Scientist magazines and vintage photographs, points to a fundamental human pursuit of meaning and connection beyond the realm of the visible.
Cowen creates environments with ‘washes’ and ‘pours’ that are equal parts intent and chance, and augments them with the addition of recognisable elements – plants, planets, figures, objects. Deep blues and purples are offset by bright accents of pink, orange and green. Thick speckles of these vibrant colours are often added at the end, suspended in resin on the surface of the canvas. Cowen avoids the potential slide into the saccharine with an intuitive counterbalance of these candied hues with darker grounds and uncanny imagery. There is a visual and perceptual oscillation between the materiality of paint and resin on canvas, and the depth of the celestial realms they infer.
Cowen doesn’t try to recreate the past nor foresee the future. Hers is another facet of the multiverse where the near past and near future coalesce, a theoretical realm where ideas are tested and explored. Where the optimism of early space exploration meets the dawning realisation that the earth is not the centre of the universe – not even the solar system – and we are orbiting in the dark in a vast and unknowable universe.
Rebecca Gallo, May 2015
ICAA 2014-Take Home Archive
5 Eliza St Newtown
22 December 2014
A-M Gallery Represented Artists
5-25 October 2014
A-M Gallery Newtown
"Kathryn Cowen’s small-scale paintings are populated by mysterious, often lonely figures. These characters exist within ethereal expanses of sky where thickly-laid acrylic gives way to watercolour-like washes of colour and constellations of droplets. Cowen’s paintings allow the viewer space to imagine what ancient or futuristic fable these players may have drifted from" Chloé Wolifson, 2014
Finalist in the Lethbridge Small Scale Art Award 2014
14-29 June 2014
Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane
Tall Tales and True
9 Oct - 2 Nov 2013
Opening 9 Oct, 6-8pm
191 Wilson St
Newtown NSW 2042
Review posted by Andrew Frost, October 4, 2013 on "The Art Life"
In the eternal battle between painting and photography it would seem that by sheer weight of numbers photography has the edge. But for all the things that photography can do, painting has a different kind of material presence, one that ensures that these related media can never really be the same thing.
In Kathryn Cowen’s Tall Tales And True, the artist has embarked on an expedition to the other side to mine a trove of personal, family and archival images as source material for her richly surfaced paintings. The paintings present images that are instantly recognisable as ‘photographic’ in their scale and flattened perspectives, yet Cowen brings a discerning sense of restraint in her translation, an act that adds the sorts of ambiguities that only painting can produce.
In Unknown Entity, Cowen sparing use of paint and ink on linen lets the canvas stand in for background while a running drip of yellow paint playfully addresses the line between abstraction and representation. A sequence of Cowen’s paintings bathe their central figures in an infinitude of painterly space: The World Beneath and The Intergalactic Pancake Express cast their characters adrift in a rich blue-black spattered with white dots. Stargazer, perhaps the hero picture of the show, is unashamedly nostalgic, a poster child for the artist’s mix of here and there.
October 9 to November 2
A-M Gallery, Newtown