BFA Ilam 1994, MFA Ilam 2011
Christchurch-based Katie Thomas is both a painter and a sculptor who during the past decade has utilised a variety of materials including wood, old books and transparent industrial resin to produce works which defy concrete categorisation. These include sculptural, wall-mounted works within which fibres and various found objects are encased between layers of resin resulting in multi-dimensional and seductive pieces which invite close-up investigation; such scrutiny reveals an assortment of individual components, including fragments of text, which appear to float within their honey-tinted, rich and glossy encasements.
Since 2008, Thomas has returned to drawing and painting, producing large scale works in which delicate and luminescent woven trails of colour merge and overlap – and thus represent a continuation of the knitting theme.
Artist Statement: As an abstract painter, the use of a motif can establish helpful parameters when constructing a painting. The fluid geometric nature of knitting, as such, provides an organic "grid" which can be manipulated to suggest movement and dimension and in my current body of work this device continues as a vehicle for my explorations.
My concern with pictorial space is revealed in simultaneously flat and densely layered compositions, where the space becomes ambiguous. In this simultaneity, I am hoping to maintain a level of viewer attention that extends beyond immediate and simplistic reading.
The use of colour is another key component and my interest is very much in the optical relationships set up by the juxtaposition and interweaving of often disparate colours. I am hoping this combination of "soft" and "loud" evokes an atmosphere that is, at once, harmonious and lively. I have attempted to translate my love of paint, of surface and of the process of making, into paintings that are alive and optimistic.