Kate Shaw graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) Honours at RMIT University in Melbourne in 1994 before completing a Diploma of Museum Studies at Deakin University in 1997. For the last 15 years she has exhibited in a number of group shows within Australia and internationally including: Singular, Luxe Gallery, New York 2008; CIGE Beijing Art Fair, Beijing, 2007; Places, Luxe Gallery, New York, 2007; U turn, Glendale College Art Gallery, Los Angeles, 2007, FIAC, 2006, Grand Palais, the Louvre, Paris 2006. In 2008 she held solo exhibitions in Australia including Visitant, 24hr Art Contemporary Art Space, Darwin; Drifter, Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane and Redux, Sullivan and Strumpf Fine Art, Sydney and the solo exhibition Pattern Recognition at Luxe Gallery, New York in 2006. In 2007/2008 she had held studios in Brooklyn, US, 24hr Art Contemporary Art Space, Darwin and Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne. In 2009 Shaw was a finalist in the Salon De Refuse and in 2008 the Fleurieu Biennale and John Leslie art prizes. In 2007 she was highly commended in the ABN AMRO Emerging Artist Award, was a finalist in the Fisher’s Ghost Award and received an Arts Victoria International Fund Export & Touring Grant. Her work is held in Artbank, Macquerie bank and Queensland University collections as well as numerous private collections in Australia, America and the UK. In 2009 she worked in a studio residency at 3rd Ward, Brooklyn and had a solo exhibition with 212 Projects in the Lower East Side, as well as solo exhibitions ‘Underground Sun’ Nellie Castan Gallery and ‘Meridian’ Sullivan and Strumpf, Sydney. She has just been awarded a public art commission with internationally renowned UAP and will begin a 6 month residency at Flux Factory, New York in April, funded by Arts Victoria.
Kate’s practice re-interprets notions of what constitutes landscape painting, both within an art historical context and a contemporary social context. Her paintings deal with the tensions and dichotomies in both the depiction of the natural world and our relationship to it. I am concurrently exploring the sublime in nature whilst imbuing a sense of toxicity and artificiality in this depiction. The intention is to reflect upon the
contradiction between our inherent connection to the natural world and continual distancing from it.
Within pours of paint, inks and mediums (and glitter and phosphorescent paint) she emulates a pseudo scientific study of the behaviour of things. In this she is making a connection between how on a molecular level the paints and mediums she uses behave in a way that mimics something in nature. When choosing areas to cut and collage, she is looking for something that resembles sedimentary layers of rock, an ice flow, lava or bark of a tree. At the same time the collages of paint, and unexpected materials such as glitter under a surface of resin is asking the viewer to consider their usual expectations of what constitutes a painting. In this regard her work addresses the tension between abstraction and representation.
This small-scale video work aims to be an updated Claude Glass, that combines video of disasters from YouTube and footage of the poured paint she uses in the collage paintings. It addresses how technology influences our perception of nature. In 18th century landscape painting a small black convex mirror known as a Claude Glass was used to frame and condense a landscape, and create a tinted reflection reminiscent of a Claude Lorain painting. Recent natural disasters of the 21st Century such as the Boxing Day Tsunami, 2009 Bushfires and volcanic eruptions in Iceland, are disseminated through grainy video shot on cell phones and posted on YouTube as small-scale video. She is interested in the way that these devices effect the consumption of spectacular natural events.
Kate lives and works in Victoria, Australia.
Image: The Spectator, video still, 2010.
© All images copyright and courtesy of the artist; Nellie Castan Gallery  Melbourne;  Sullivan and Strumpf  Fine Art Sydney; and Ryan Renshaw Gallery Brisbane.