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The art of Kate Rohde

Drawn to decorative arts since childhood, Kate’s trajectory has led her to resin, crystals, and a gorgeous exhibition at Pieces of Eight Gallery.

Kate lists Meissen porcelain, baroque and rococo artisans, and the flemish painters among her inspirations, threading rich, ornate detail through her historical favourites. In the contemporary art world American artist Karen Kilimnik, Hany Armanious and Lara Merrett capture her attention, again demonstrating a fascination with minutely meticulous work.

And this desire for painstaking precision is evident in her current collection, a series of sculptural pieces of jewellery and objects that mimic geological formations in bright colours. As Kate says, “The inspiration for ‘Hybrid Geology’ is drawn largely from my love for crystals and cave formations, as well as natural history in general. I have quite a large collection of natural history books that I browse through for ideas. I particularly [like] historical engravings of animals and plants where they look a bit wacky and wrong, like the artists are having the thing described to them, rather than ever having seen them for them self.”

Kate has a special preference for working with resin; as she explains, “I’ve always had a fascination with transparent materials so I was really drawn to working with resin, any transparent artwork or industrial design is captivating to me! It’s very versatile and can be manipulated in a multitude of ways.” And her interest in the material isn’t limited to artistic pursuits, “I’m planning on making a range of functional objects in the next few months”, she says, “I’m also currently renovating my home and I plan on making a lot of the fixtures myself like the shower tiles and sinks. I really love the work of Francois and Xavier Lalanne who worked across the fields of art and industrial design quite successfully.”

As for the future, Kate has shifted her attention east with “a new body of work that is inspired largely by Chinese rock gardens and jade carvings”. She adds, “I’m creating some big resin sculptures that will look like a weird psychedelic garden landscape.”

Kate Rohde exhibited her collection ‘Hybrid Geology’ at Pieces of Eight Gallery from April 11 to May 19, 2012.

Images courtesy of the artist and Pieces of Eight Gallery.

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