Artchat recently caught up with artist Katherine Wood before her upcoming exhibition at Red Hill Gallery, Brisbane to find out a little more about her and her beautiful artwork.AC: Painting from the upcoming exhibition feature a reoccurring motif of a single tree or figure? What is the significance behind this?
KW: I have always used the tree as a metaphor for man, a symbol of our temporary human existence. The tree is now sometimes replaced more literally with the figure which have been placed in these vast “mindscapes” (not portraying aspects of my own life – but rather a universal) that reflect how we as individuals all inevitably have to endure our own journey. With the scale of the figure/tree being a direct reflection of our relative insignificance.
These landscapes are merely ‘spaces’ which have no boundaries (a relief from life’s responsibilities). The tree/figure is placed in these spaces to provoke contemplation for the viewer to see ourselves in the ‘cast’ of life.
AC: Can you remember your earliest motivation to pursue a career in the arts?
KW: Art has always been my greatest passion from my earliest days and I always knew it would somehow define me and be part of my career. I took some time off after finishing my degree in Fine Arts to travel the world and explore and learn about other cultures and especially arts around the world. Upon returning home I opened a small art gallery to promote young, contemporary artists as I was at this stage more interested in the promotional side of the industry. I still painted in my spare time and one day put up a single work which sold within a few days. I did another work, which sold in as quick a time frame and the rest is history.
AC: How do you balance life, artistic career and business career?
KW: I have been very fortunate to have an amazing husband, Duncan who is also my partner and has been with me from the very beginning of my art career. Ultimately he is the business side and the ‘rock’ behind the work. He is a huge driving force and support structure in everything I do and I would definitely say everything 'I' have achieved is actually everything 'we' have achieved. He also happens to be an incredible dad.
I am also a big believer in perseverance and although I am still struggling with the balance of life – and sometimes find it overwhelming. I have learnt that stepping back and away and breathing ... is what ultimately gives you energy to start again.
AC: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement to date?
KW: Jointly, Duncan and I have built a strong support internationally through numerous exhibitions – however there is something to be said for the journey and not the destination – and that ultimate achievement is still yet to be achieved.
To create images, that to some, can feel a profound and mysterious presence beneath the reality of the porous surface of my work and that they are capable of ‘changing ones emotional outlook’ is extremely rewarding. The idea that I am that little bit of time, that living history, a piece of my transferred energy in collections all over the world is an awesome feeling.
AC: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
KW: Painting for me has gone through various phases where initially I was compelled to reflect reality and was fundamentally interested in drawing realistic imagery in detail. Ultimately I have broken from that to achieve a ‘state of consciousness’ while painting and therefore my inspiration has shifted from imitating realism to an ever deepening infatuation with the technique of painting and therefore focussing on texture, the dynamic movement of the brushstroke, successive layers of oils and how light is achieved. This is more an inspiration of energy and transcendence experience.
Katherine Wood is currently on exhibition alongside two other artists Ken Strong and Adrienne Williams at the Red Hill Gallery, 61 Musgrave Road, Red Hill, Brisbane. This exhibition will continue until the 26 July, 2015.