Melbourne Exhibition Review: Kate Daw – Love, Work (Show Me Grace)

Kate Daw: Love, Work (Show Me Grace)
at Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne

Elizabeth Fritz

Kate Daw’s exhibition, Love, Work (Show Me Grace) is her third solo exhibition at Sarah Scout Presents.

As I entered the gallery’s hallway, I was surrounded by pale lilac wallpaper with a floral motif. This is Daw’s installation that has been described as ambitious. It felt intimate and inviting and made quite an impact but on closer inspection it started to reveal a whole lot more.

I started noticing uneven edges and fraying, this wallpaper is in fact pieces of dyed calico that have been pasted to the wall. The origin of the floral images is twofold; the gardenias are photographs straight from Daw’s garden and her student created the linear flower drawing. These two images have been printed onto fabric to create a visually rich and somewhat feminine feel. The textural effect works well. “Striking” commented a man as he walked into the hallway.

Image courtesy of artist and Sarah Scout Presents.
Image courtesy of artist and Sarah Scout Presents.

The remaining space is comprised of a further two rooms. The artwork in the first room was not what I expected. There are two paintings, one on canvas with the word ‘MAM’SELLE’ and the other on reclaimed blackboards comprising of light blue flowers heads. On the adjacent wall was a series of small boards, some with text and some with images. I read the texts over and over trying to get a sense of the meaning. One of the boards posed this question; “What is important in your life? “Fresh coffee and a sense of autonomy” was the response. There are in fact big questions offered up on these small boards. Such as what true happiness might be? And is there ever a point of satisfaction we arrive at? What initially appeared to be a somewhat underwhelming room was suddenly being transformed into a contemplative space. Here the viewer could be confronted with weighty topics that were based on actual conversations between Daw and a few young women.

Daw’s diverse influences continue to be evident in the second room. Floral motifs, words painted on black boards and references to sisterhood dominate.

KATE DAW Blue Flowers (when we slept in the studio you gave me some good ideas) 2015 oil paint on found blackboard 41.5 x 60.5 cm (framed) Image courtesy the artist and Sarah Scout Presents
KATE DAW Blue Flowers (when we slept in the studio you gave me some good ideas)
2015
oil paint on found blackboard
41.5 x 60.5 cm (framed)
Image courtesy the artist and Sarah Scout Presents
I am not really interested in logical links, rather how far I can stretch things both from their     original source and from one another. I am fascinated by certain books, relationships, memories and associative, sensory experience, among other things.
Kate Daw in conversation with author.

Love, Work (Show Me Grace) is a collection that showcases Daw’s interest in literature, design and reproduction but at the same time there is something jarring about how she paired the complexities of the underlying subject matter to the almost simplistic, child-like works of art. But perhaps this is precisely what makes it compelling and thought provoking.

Love, Work (Show Me Grace), until May 16
Open Wed-Sat 12pm-5pm

sarahscoutpresents.com
Suite 15, Level 1
12 Collins St. Melbourne

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