17 November 2011 - 17 December 2011

Kate Smith, Teenage boi boi sounds


Teenage boi boi sounds is Kate Smith's inaugural solo exhibition at Sutton Gallery, comprised of new and recent paintings that showcase her expanded, playful approach to painting.

Stylistically grounded in her own historical context and mixed with a puckish nod to kitsch, Smith's work makes lighthearted reference to the revered artistic tradition of which it is part. Her paintings are imbued with visual allusions to Western art; albeit cheeky, personalised references. Indeed, whilst Smith is a painter, much of her work has a three-dimensional quality. She employs a vivid palette which incorporates small works on canvas-board, ephemera, paint-spattered fabric and clothes. She also works with a myriad of familiar objects and her use of media such as patterned cloth, wood, stockings and rope provides reflection on her adolescence in rural Australia.

A strong, expansive sculptural element underpins Teenage boi boi sounds, with Smith presenting the gallery space as a sprawling tableau rather than as a backdrop for a series of discrete objects; transforming the edges between the works into ambiguous, undefined zones. Ideas and forms explored in her recent exhibition Gesturing to the chilli (db, Sydney, 2011) are also further developed here; specifically, establishing the ‘chilli' form as a visual motif. This is one of the many colourful, abstract forms that recur across her painterly surfaces, with Smith describing such re-appearances and connections as her paintings ‘chatting' to one another.

Artist's profile

View artist profile: Kate Smith

Artwork from exhibition by Kate Smith,

Chilli fantasy, 2011