Kate Shaw is a Melbourne-based artist who creates landscapes that are simultaneously sublime and toxic. Formed out of ‘paint pours’ and collage techniques, her landscapes capture the transcendent beauty of nature; the swirls of acrylic paint, ink, glitters and powders mimic the flow of natural processes. But underlying these psychedelic scenes are hints of pollution and artificiality, inducing anything from wonder to discomfort. This intersection of creation and corruption in Shaw’s alchemical creations teases out our conflicted relationship with nature – a relationship fraught with awe and fear, closeness and distance. 

My practice aims to convey ideas of nature, alchemy and cycles of creation/destruction. The paintings and video works deal with the tensions and dichotomies in the depiction of the natural world and our relationship to it. I am concurrently exploring the sublime in nature whilst imbuing a sense of toxicity and artificiality in this depiction. My intention is to reflect upon the contradiction between our inherent connection to the natural world and continual distancing from it.

In 2014, Shaw has had a successful showing at ART 14, London and solo exhibitions at The Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong and Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne. Currently her work is touring to museums throughout Asia as part the Asialink curated exhibition Vertigo including MOCA Taipei and POSCO Seoul. She was awarded a residency in New York supported by the Australia Council for the Arts at Point B Worklodge. She will be featured in the ABCTV documentary ‘Conquest of Space’ and ‘Spectrum’ Index Book, Barcelona. Her work was also included in ‘Landscape and its Psyche’ published by University of NSW. A series of prints of her work has been launched with Urban Outfitters. Urban Art Projects has commissioned her for large-scale murals at the Macquarie Centre, Sydney, also launching this year.