Her gestural figuration and innate understanding of colour permit her to create psycho-geographic portraits of the flora and fauna which she encounters in the bush and on her travels. Through isolating the essence of a scene and experimenting in formal play, Kathryn Dolby’s art is not only evocative in terms of primal nostalgia but also emotionally charged in her layered brushwork with an intense, if not uncanny, paint palette.
The source of inspiration behind Kathryn Dolby’s art practice – an emerging artist in Australia
Inspired by the minimalist qualities of Morandi and Cézanne, Dolby also speaks to the lineage of Expressionism in the psychic ground of her paintings. Upon first glance, her simple forms and prioritisation of colour might appear child-like, even innocent, but in reviewing her portfolio, it becomes clear that her repetitive curiosity and creative process has led her towards deep meditations on shade and line. It is in her solitude and encapsulated simplicity that Dolby’s paintings resound with the epistemological positions of Rothko and Twombly — the pioneering modern masters of cyclical examination of the base elements of visual art.
There is also something uniquely Australian in Dolby’s expressive clarity. The naturally cool tones of bushland and beach are amplified by her windswept and purposeful brush work, complemented by her carefully layered impasto and use of collapsed perspective to evoke a sense of ongoing expanse. There are echoes of John Olson and Arthur Boyd in her figural studies and homage to the land with which she lives.
It is deeply refreshing to see a young painter who follows the contours of Australian geography and cultivates an appreciation for nature without a sense of eco-touristic voyeurism or a suggestion of sociologically determined ‘terra nulla’. Instead, Dolby fosters an empathic relationship with her environmental inspiration, simultaneously drawing form from the land and returning to it with a lens of sensation, emotion and, most importantly, a certain element of gratitude.
Through her career, Dolby has emerged as a leading emerging landscape painter in the Australian contemporary art scene, accruing honours and awards including the Hurford Harwood Portrait Prize, the Waverley Art Prize and the BAM Art Prize in 2020.
As an artist, Kathryn Dolby studied painting under the Bachelor of Visual Arts programme at SCU, Lismore and graduated with honours and earning the Lismore Regional Gallery Graduate Award, with a graduate solo exhibition at Lismore Regional Gallery in 2015.
During her representation by Otomys in both Victoria and the United Kingdom, Kathryn Dolby
has exhibited a wide variety of oil and acrylic paintings,
with solo exhibitions in Sydney and Melbourne and at international fairs, including the esteemed Spring1883 in 2021. You can read more about Kathryn’s art practice here
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