Kate Smith Teenage boi boi sounds

17 November –
17 December 2011

Sutton Gallery is please to present Teenage boi boi sounds by Kate Smith. Comprised of new and recent paintings, Teenage boi boi sounds is Smith’s inaugural solo exhibition at Sutton Gallery and showcases 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.i

Kate Smith completed a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Arts (Visual) (First Class Honours) at the Australian National University (ANU) and the ANU School of Art, Canberra, in 2005. In the same year she was the recipient of the ANU School of Art Peter Fay Graduate Award. She is a currently undertaking a 2010-2011 studio residency at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, and recently completed a studio residency at Artspace, Sydney. Recent solo exhibitions include Studio 12, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne 2011; Gesturing to the Chilli, db, Sydney 2011; Minnie the Moocher (in collaboration with Alex Vivian), WestSpace’s The West Wing, Melbourne 2011; Freda Cimmons is hungover, as part of Anthropological Bricolage, curated by Rebecca Coates and Melissa Loughnan, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne 2010; Monkey makes a painting, Y3K, Melbourne 2010; ‘You’re the C**T, Donut’, Ocular lab, Melbourne 2010; *tastes self* (in collaboration with Alex Vivian), Hell Gallery, Melbourne 2009; Can’t you act like old money, TCB art inc., Melbourne 2009; and Whoops Kibbutz, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne 2008. Select group exhibitions include Gertrude Studios 2011, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne 2011 (forthcoming); Detours through abstraction, curated by Alex Baker, Arts Project Australia, Melbourne 2011; Geoff Newton & Kate Smith, Sutton Gallery Project Space, Melbourne 2011; Death in the Mourning, curated by Helen Johnson, Death be Kind, Melbourne 2011; Another Yummy Fantasy II, TCB art inc., Melbourne 2011; New World Records, curated by Helen Johnson and Nick Mangan, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne 2009; Cross Colouring, Hell Gallery, Melbourne, and Gambia Castle, Auckland, New Zealand 2009; and A Time Like This, curated by Meredith Turnbull, VCA Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne 2008.

Artist’s profile