Kate Rogers believes it’s possible that Picasso’s muses may live in her subconscious, directing her brush, whispering entreaties to inspire her. The ‘imperfect forms’ they inspire are inquisitive, playful and irreverent, yet their cultural referencing is a high-brow nod to Picasso, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Dora Maar.
With their intelligent eyes and knowing smiles, the portraits Kate creates demand attention, and capture the very essence of a room. Kate explains that these forms capture some of the essence of compelling or inspirational humans she has learnt about or knows.
Intuitive, raw and part of a deep personal narrative, Kate’s work is deeply affecting. Painted in acrylic, occasionally with a dash of oil pastel, the artist explains:
“I work spontaneously and intuitively, often directly with my fingers on canvas, so acrylic paint is my friend. I love its forgiving and fast-drying nature. Sometimes towards the end of a piece, I’ll sense that something is missing, and that’s where the oil pastel steps in, as a kind of exclamation mark, a feather in the painting’s cap.”
Kate lives and works on Wadawurrung Country (Mount Duneed, Victoria), and believes her formal education took place in the galleries of London, streets of Rome, the laneways of Melbourne and the natural environment, and is informed by the inspirational women in these places.
“When I paint, I’m drawing on flashes or glimpses of books, stories, people and experiences, and central to my work are the strong, brave, tenacious, gutsy beautiful women that feature… they just emerge.
“What drives my process are the unique paths women take, despite – or because of – the structural, systemic and cultural challenges they continue to face.”
The brave, empowered faces that the artist channels into life are brimming with colour and form. As an eclectic collection they capture the inner essence of woman; as an individual piece, each asks the viewer to consider the story of the woman it portrays.
SBS Portrait prize finalist
Lethbridge Gallery 20000 prize finalist
Fifty Squared, Group Exhibition, Brunswick Street Gallery