Katherine Boland was born in the United Kingdom and immigrated to Australia at the age of four where she grew up on the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria. She has been a practicing artist since 1991,during which time she has exhibited extensively throughout Australia and travelled the world. Katherine has been the recipient of numerous art prizes and grants including the prestigious Heysen Art Prize for Interpretation Of Place in 2009. She is represented by a number of highly regarded Australian commercial galleries and in corporate, public and private collections in Australia, Europe, Asia and the USA.
Having been awarded a scholarship by the Art Students League of New York, Katherine participated in the League’s Artist-In-Residence program in early 2010. In May/June 2010 she undertook a two-month residency in the south of France where she responded to the surrounding environment by exploring locally sourced materials. She has recently been invited to attend an International Artist’s Symposium In Luxor, Egypt in November this year.
Although she is currently based in Melbourne, Katherine lived for over two decades on the Far South Coast of New South Wales and has a long association with fire, timber and the landscape. Fire and the duality of its role as a destructive force or useful servant is part of life in Australia; its unpredictable presence is burnt into the Australian psyche. Many winters were spent clearing land by hand, barking eucalyptus trees to be used in buildings and fences and ‘burning off’ the bush to prevent deadly bushfires in the summer. Katherine also has a strong interest in Buddhist philosophy in which fire is used to symbolize purification and impermanence – themes that consistently inform her work.
Katherine works across the disciplines of painting, sculpture and photography. She seeks to distill classical interpretations of the beauty of the natural world in an organic, abstract space incorporating non-traditional media and processes. She employs Black Japan, enamel, acrylic, wood stains, liming solution, oil, encaustic and most significantly fire on timber panels and beams. The use of timber is purposeful, allowing her to deeply burn, inscribe, scrape back and expose hidden layers. She creates textures and surfaces and uses precisely placed planes or panels of colour to build up works that have exquisite compositional balance. Her art work is imbued with a frenetic energy, yet that energy is filtered and tempered through the artist’s highly developed and refined understanding of her own graphic language. Subjective and emotive landscapes frequently involve juxtaposing areas of blackness and stark white against subtle layers of translucent tone and are undoubtedly influenced by watching and helping her father, a professional photographer, develop black and white photographs in his darkroom after school. She also recently discovered that her great grandfather and his father before him were the head engravers for the London Illustrated News, firstly creating the drawings and then engraving the wood blocks used to print the detailed black and white illustrations for each edition of the newspaper prior to the advent of photo journalism.
Katherine is a qualified fine art practitioner of high standing who has a life long commitment to creating and exhibiting innovative contemporary art. With a consistently high degree of technical proficiency her resolved but continually evolving thematic considerations are given intelligent and insightful interpretation. Her passionate research of materials, techniques and subject exploration suggests that she will continue to hold a strong position amongst her peers in the world of Australian contemporary visual art.