Kate Shaw – Luminous Worlds



Fehily Contemporary

words by Caitlin Leishman


Kate Shaw’s work brings fossilization to the mind – though her creations are the opposite of outdated and weary. Perhaps it’s more of a modern fossil she brings to life. Yes, that’s a bit of a paradox or two, but if you take the time to check out this recent exhibition you’ll understand. Taking a look at her work up close you’ll find a talented use of bright and striking colour all sealed beneath a resin barrier, giving a sense of earthy layers.

Her current show at Fehily Contemporary looks at Anthropocene, where human activity is considered and examined as a major influence on the environment. She also focus’ on places that she has visited during her own adventures where she’s felt the effects of nature were apparent. This feeling is also passed down to the viewer in works such as ‘Future Gaze’, which reminds me of the Pink Salt Lakes in the Mallee, Victoria. Though this particular case perhaps isn’t down to negative activity. Scenes from Iceland, Central Australia and South West USA have created the backdrops for influencing this body of work.


Shaw has played with distance and perspective to create a sense of foresight, as though the viewer is peering through a looking glass or a kaleidoscope into the future. ‘Ominous’ with its red framing rocks is a perfect example as it channels the way you look at the painting. On the other hand, ‘Crystal city’ gives us a glimpse forward at into another ice age.

Circle 1

circle 2

In this series Shaw has experimented with light boxes heightening the eerie glow of ‘Blue Marble’ and ‘Fordite-Lenticular’. While both pieces are stunning, and the technology compliments her style they don’t allow for quite the same beautiful depth as her acrylic and resin works – but that’s just my opinion!


However, it is the featured work, ‘Hell and Highwater’ that serves as a nudge to remind us that the changes of the natural world, visible to the human eye on the surface, are just the tip of the iceberg.

Kate Shaw is an Australian artist who has successfully created an international reputation for herself.   She has exhibited in Berlin, Paris London and New York. The consistently impressive work has earned her recognition in art prizes, with Shaw being a Wynne finalist several years in a row. This exhibition, Luminous Worlds, is on at Fehily Contemporary Gallery, High St until 10 September 2016 and shouldn’t be missed.


Featured Image: Hell and Highwater 2016, 120 x 150cm

Image 1: Future Gaze 120 x 240cm

Image 2: Ominous 120 diameter

Image 3: Crystal City 120 diameter

Image 4: Fordite – Lenticular Lightbox 70 diameter


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