Katherine Hattam
Seeing Through
4 - 28 October 2017

‘Perhaps', a word used often by me. Perhaps ten years ago I went out to Monash each week to learn from the charismatic Liz Grosz about Freud and Feminism. Not just inspiring but clear, the course was brilliant. She suggested I read her next book in manuscript. I was surprised to discover philosophy and no psychoanalysis. I recall her explaining she wanted a change from always seeing something standing for or meaning something else, of seeing the meaning behind or through something else - sometimes a chair is just a chair. I thought then and still do, I'm stuck, enjoyably so, seeing things standing for other things, finding meaning in looking through. Looking at these, in many ways disparate works, it occurred to me it's this looking through which they have in common. Perhaps also, an interest in that moment and place where the inside world looks through to that going on outside, where what is going on in ones head completely alters the colour and experience of the world outside. 

- Katherine Hattam, 2017


Katherine Hattam’s work encompasses themes of feminism, domesticity, time, autobiography and psychology. Her works combine a dual representation of the public and private spheres; they are locations for the intersection of memory, space and autobiography, littered with the objects and influences that have shaped her.

Katherine Hattam held her first exhibition in 1978 at the George Paton & Ewing Gallery, alongside Helen Frankenthaler and has exhibited regularly ever since. Recent exhibitions include Desire First (2015) at Deakin University, Backwaters (2014) at LUMA, Sometimes (2015) and Consciousness Raising (2014) at Daine Singer, Inventory (2010) and Book Covers (2009) at John Buckley Gallery, Staying on Message (2008) at Australian Galleries, Landscape of Longing (2013) at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Under the Influence (2007) at Warrnambool Art Gallery, Innocent Works (2008) at Bendigo Art Gallery, and at the National Gallery of Victoria: This and Other Worlds: Contemporary Australian Drawing (2008), Stick It! Collage in Australian Art (2010) and The Naked Face: Self-portraits (2010-11).

Hattam was Australia-China Fellow with a studio at the Beijing Art Academy (2003 and 2005) and exhibited Cut and Paste at the Pickled Art Centre, Beijing. Hattam has won the Banyule and Robert Jacks Drawing Prizes, has been short-listed many times in the Dobell Drawing Prize, the National Works on Paper Prize and Arthur Guy and Geelong Gallery Painting Prizes. She holds a BA in Literature and Politics from the University of Melbourne, an MFA Painting from VCA and a PhD from Deakin University.

Her work is in the public collections of the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Heide, Art Gallery of South Australia, Deakin and La Trobe Universities, Warrnambool Art Gallery and Bendigo Art Gallery and private and corporate collections including George Patterson, Minter Ellison, National Bank of Australia, Potter Warburg, Smorgon, the Darling Foundation and RACV.