Melbourne painter Katie Daniels is a quiet achiever. She holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong, a Masters of Arts Curatorship from the University of Melbourne, and last year, was a finalist in the prestigious Wynne prize for landscape painting, which saw her work exhibited in esteemed company, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales!
We’ve been watching Katie from afar for a long while, so we’re more than a little excited to FINALLY announce this exhibition! ‘Unfolding Light‘ brings together seventeen luminous oil-on-linen paintings. For Katie, these dreamy landscapes represent moments of peace amidst times of upheaval, and speak to the power of hope and human resilience.
‘In a sense, I was following these moments of light to reach the place I now find myself. These works look back to what has been, and give thanks to what has led me here.’ Katie says.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background, how you came to study art and then pursue it as a career?
I have been drawing from a time before I remember concretely how or when it began.
I studied oil painting and still life painting after school as a preteen (which I really loved) and I always took art in school as a subject, and later studied it at university, going on to do an Honours, but I didn’t really have a subject matter that lit me up and I ended up doing, and studying, many other things with the intent of making them my career, before finally dedicating myself to my first love of art, and to my painting practice.
What has inspired the artworks in this exhibition?
I was thinking about light and sunshine; I certainly had an obsession with it coming back from European summer to our Melbourne winter last year. Looking in my photo reel in my phone for painting inspiration, I found myself drawn to summer landscapes, sun-drenched scenes, and when I was in the studio it was these images that I wanted to paint.
I found myself thinking about the time and history associated with each image, about finding joy and a sense of peace within whatever has happened, and about the sometimes lengthy process of becoming oneself.
Where do you typically create your art and are there any noteworthy materials, techniques and processes you use?
In the past I have used kitchen tables, garages, and last winter I was painting undercover in my partner’s father’s back yard. At the moment it’s the back living area in our house. I’m not a messy painter by any means, so its easy to pack myself up for the week.
I have set days in the studio which has allowed me to be more successful in my practice than not. I have a tendency to become colour obsessed and find that these colour obsessions then invade my mood board, wardrobe or other consumer choices, and visual preoccupations so life starts to imitate art in a way.
In my paintings I like to have thin surfaces of paint so I use linseed oil and sometimes solvent to thin the paint into washes of colour, and then to build the layers up slowly.
What’s one thing our readers might be surprised to know about you?
In the past I have (perhaps randomly) briefly studied nutrition and also completed my yoga teacher training. Although at present I do little with these qualifications and study in a professional sense, I still appreciate that they inform me as I am now.
What’s next for Katie Daniels?
Always more landscape painting of course, and some other potential opportunities in the works for later in the year; most exciting of these is a residency in France in October!
After the residency is complete my aim is to travel around the French countryside visiting gardens and sourcing inspiration and material for future body of works to be presented in 2020.
Please join us and Katie, for the opening of Unfolding Light next Saturday, March 2nd!
Unfolding Light by Katie Daniels
March 2nd to 7th
14 Little Oxford Street
Saturday 2nd, 10:00am – 5:00pm, with opening drinks from 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Sunday 3rd, 11:00am – 3:00pm
Monday 4th, CLOSED
Tuesday 5th, 10:00 – 4:00pm
Wednesday 6th, 10:00 – 4:00pm
Thursday 7th, 10:00 – 4:00pm