Kate Tucker
5 October - 5 November 2016

Essay by Amelia Winata >>
 

Kate Tucker's recent painting process has shifted towards building slab-like substrates through repetitive layering of various materials. This process emerged as a reaction to the restrictions of painting traditionally onto pre-stretched linens. Rather than working within a defined area and surface, each layer became an opportunity to change the form as well as the content of the work. The result is a series of ‘tablets’, irregularly shaped paintings that represent an accumulation of numerous material based experiments, rather than the realisation of a pre-conceived idea.

The freedom afforded by this has impacted on the way Tucker uses paint to form compositions and make marks. As paint is used to stain calico, which is then wrapped and plaited around the substrate, any painting that is done with a brush must co-habit with a different iteration of itself. Similarly, fabrics that are digitally printed with images of other works are used, sometimes images of earlier versions of the actual painting they become part of.

Tucker is interested in corrupting or shifting elements from their original source, then recombining them in a manner that subverts expected order. Simultaneously, materials are manipulated so as to maintain a rawness and familiarity whilst taking on foreign characteristics. The result is a compression of materials, where traits are swapped and shared, and the painting is located through rather than onto the surface.

The ambition to marry or equalize opposing elements points back to the conundrum of making paintings in the digital age. Tucker has been attempting to transfer some of the opportunities of digital mediums across to painting and has chosen to do this through process rather than visual cues. In these works elements may be stripped of context and casually combined, but unlike in Photoshop, the physicality of the materials means the painting grows with every layer. The ambiguity of the finished surface is difficult to translate through photography, which adds a final iteration to the loop of analogue and digital.

Tucker’s recent projects include solo exhibitions at Art Stage Singapore, Chapter House Lane, c3 Contemporary Art Space, Platform and Helen Gory, and group exhibitions at Sutton Projects, Dutton Gallery, Caves, Tristian Koenig, SPRING1883, Incinerator Gallery and LON Gallery. In 2016 she will have solo exhibitions at Galerie Pompom and Daine Singer.

Tucker has been a finalist in the Albany Art Prize, Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize, The Churchie Emerging Art Prize, Geelong Acquisitive Print Awards, and The Archibald Prize. She is currently a finalist in the 2016 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize and The Substation Prize. Tucker graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2009.