Kate Elsey – Banksia Mountain

Western Australian artist Kate Elsey introduces her latest exhibition that explores the Australian flora and fauna from a continent at odds with the elements.

A place ravaged by extremes, the burnt and wind swept outback has resulted in a unique biodiversity that attracted Elsey’s eye.

Commenting on the place of inspiration, Elsey stated, “My current exhibition is about the structures of flora and fauna and the underlying mechanisation of the Stirling Ranges National Park where I am developing an abstracted organic aesthetic, distilling the mechanics of the species. This is a series of Life Museum continuing to reference this region.”

There is a something clever about Kate Elsey’s works. In this latest series, Banksia Mountain, depicting Australia’s diverse plant life, seductively blur the lines between realism and abstraction with their geometric forms.

“Finding the qualities in the flora especially of the Stirling Ranges gives me a rhythmical, colourful line and structure to base the forms. The detail of the flower heads might be exaggerated and the veins of the leaves oversized. Banksia Mountain is a study in abstraction of the infinite nature forms nestled in valleys to montane heathland,” commented Elsey.

Pairing delicate flowers, with gnarly weathered forms and creatures, Elsey draws the viewer into her own artistic imaginary of Australia’s ancient landscape.

Successfully entwining material and conceptual practice, there is a sense of energy imbued in her works by her practice. “My paintings are formed out of oil paint scraped into a mix – the picture plain is the palette and is re applied to create a sculpture. The paint becomes the landscape of interpreted flora fauna. Behind the etched quality of the paint is a hint of antiquity of ancient time and an urgency of what time the living force has left on this ever burning rotating planet.

The lively works are cleverly stilled by Elsey’s strong conceptual practice. Really the artist herself says it best, “My paintings are a mediation of a moment, those awe inspiring intricacies of the native bush developed, evolved over billions of years. For me a life affirming experience to be amongst nature’s living breathing force. And to observe how it survives against all that life throws it’s way.”

It’s hard not to agree with her. Opening this Friday 22 August get a glimpse of Elsey’s beguiling landscapes.

Kate Elsey – Banksia Mountain
22 August – 20 September
Official Opening Sunday 30 August
Linton and Kay Galleries




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