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The Northern Rivers Artist Inspired By Parenthood And 'Building A Home'

Art

Mud House is a peculiar art exhibition title.

Yet it’s fitting when you consider the intriguing, multi-faceted themes explored in Kathryn Dolby’s forthcoming show curated by Amber Creswell Bell at Saint Cloche Upstairs.

We visited the intuitive artist in her Northern Rivers studio, to learn more about this body of work, informed by parenthood, architecture, and her surroundings.

7th May, 2019

Artist Kathryn Dolby. Photo – courtesy of Amber Creswell Bell.

Banana Palm, 2019, Kathryn Dolby, acrylic on board, 80x60cm. Photo – courtesy of the artist.

Rusty Macadamias on a Sleepy Drive over the Hill, 2019, Kathryn Dolby, acrylic on board, 120x80cm. Photo – courtesy of the artist.

Workings and studies in Kathryn’s Northern Rivers studio. Photo – courtesy of Amber Creswell Bell.

Studio details. Photo – courtesy of Amber Creswell Bell.

Heatscape, 2019, Kathryn Dolby, acrylic on board, 80x60cm. Photo – courtesy of the artist.

Water, Falling, 2019, Kathryn Dolby, acrylic on board, 120x80cm. Photo – courtesy of the artist.

Kathryn opens her first Sydney exhibition this weekend, ‘Mud House‘. Photo – courtesy of Amber Creswell Bell.

The Trees are Sleeping, 2019, Kathryn Dolby, acrylic on board. Photo – courtesy of the artist.

The forthcoming show embodies the artist’ ‘desire to embrace a level of “clunkiness” with the brush.’ Photo – courtesy of Amber Creswell Bell.

Elle Murrell
Tuesday 7th May 2019

‘Mud House’ aims to explore the poetry in the grittier aspects of ‘building a home.’ – Kathryn Dolby.

Kathryn Dolby’s first Sydney exhibition opens this Saturday, and sees the artist merging abstraction and representation, as she references the shifting, yet repetitious transition she has experienced as a new parent. ‘Through symbolic motifs, collected colours from my immediate surroundings, and a desire to embrace a level of ‘clunkiness’ with the brush, Mud House aims to explore the poetry in the grittier aspects of “building a home”,’ tells the Northern Rivers-based artist.

More specifically, ‘Mud’ references the natural landscape surrounding her home, and at the same time ‘the more chaotic emotional aspects of familial relationships’. Meanwhile, ‘House’ references the idea of order – from representations of farmland, to architectural structures and baby gates, which Kathryn re-imagines across her 22 acrylic-on-board works.

Kathryn completed her Bachelor of Visual Arts at Southern Cross University, Lismore, in 2014. During her studies, her diligent work ethic and intuitive creative output saw her not only pick up a Camera House Visual Arts Scholarship and the Kaske Award for printmaking, but undertake two incredibly influential placements – at Guy Maestri’s studio in Sydney, and also Ben Quilty’s studio in the Southern Highlands. And that’s not all, after she was introduced to celebrated artist Luke Scibberas through these opportunities, he too became an encouraging mentor.

Kathryn took out the Lismore Regional Gallery Graduate Award and opened her first solo exhibition in the Lismore Regional Gallery in 2015. Since then, she’s added shows in Ballina, Grafton, Mullumbimby and Melbourne to her bio. With all these accolades stacking up only a few years into her career, we’re expecting big things.

‘An interest in the intimacy of simple moments that occur through everyday life’ continues to inform Kathryn’s evolving art practice, and is distinctly present throughout this most recent body-of-work, which is presented alongside pieces by ceramic artist Hana Vasak. ‘In all of my paintings I continue to seek a quiet and contemplative middle ground,’ Kathryn invites, ‘so the ambiguous glimpses of narrative make space for the viewer to fill with their own interpretations and curiosities.’

Mud House by Kathryn Dolby
May 11th to 18th
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 11th, 12pm
Saint Cloche Upstairs
37 MacDonald Street
Paddington, New South Wales

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net