About

Katherine Hattam Curriculum Vitae

1950 Born Melbourne
1974 BA Hons Melb Uni
1992 MFA Painting VCA
2004 PhD Deakin University

 Solo Exhibitions

2016 Desire First, Devonport Regional Gallery
2015 Desire First, Deakin University Art Gallery
2015 Sometimes, Daine Singer Gallery
2014 Backwaters, Latrobe University Museum LUMA
2014 Backwaters, Latrobe Art School Bendigo
2014 Consciousness Raising, Daine Singer Gallery
2013 Landscape of Longing, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
2010 Inventory, John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne
2009 Book Covers, John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne
2008 Staying on Message, Australian Galleries, Melbourne
2007 - 2008 Under The Influence, Warrnambool Art Gallery
2007 Family Romance, Australian Galleries Sydney
2007 Innocent Works, Bendigo Art Gallery
2006 Bookworks, Stonington Stables, Deakin University, Melbourne
2005 Not Anxious, Cut and Paste, Pickled Art Centre, Beijing
2002 The Vocabulary of Chairs, Geelong Art Gallery
2002 Span Galleries, Melbourne
2001 1998 John Buckley Fine Art
1999 Perfect Day, Bendigo Regional Gallery
1998 Seashores and Porcupines, Latrobe Street Gallery
1994 1991 1990 1988 William Mora Gallery
1988 Warrnambool Art Gallery
1978 George Paton & Ewing Gallery, Melbourne 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017 Collective vision: 130 years, Bendigo Art Gallery
2016 A Billion Bucks, Honeymoon Suite
2016 Telltale, Arts Project Australia with Next Wave
2016 Art of parts: collage and assemblage from the collection, AGNSW
2016 Soft Furnishings, RMIT Design Hub
2015 Bayside Prize, Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre, Melbourne
2014 Reraising Consciousness with Harriet Morgan & Fayen d'Evie, TCB 2014 Work, Slopes
2014 Domestic Bliss, Deakin University Art Gallery
2014 Swan Hill Print & Drawing Prize
2013 Fremantle Print Prize
2012 2009 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 2000 1996 Dobell Drawing Prize, AGNSW
2014 2012 2008 2006 2004 2002 Impressions Australian Print Workshop
2012 The River, Bundoora Homestead
2011 Australia-India Institute Retreat, Mornington Peninsula
2011 2009 2003 Arthur Guy Prize Bendigo Art Gallery
2010 Stick It!, National Gallery of Victoria
2010 The Naked Face, NGV
2010, 2009 2008 2007 2006 Paddington Art Prize
2005 All Killer, Joint Hassles
2006 Decade Acquisitions, Bendigo Art Gallery
2006 Small Tapestries, Australian Tapestry Workshop
2016 2014 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 National Works on Paper Prize, Mornington
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 Robert Jacks Prize Bendigo Art Gallery
2005 Banyule Works on Paper Art Prize
2005 Sydney Art Fair, Sydney Art on Paper Fair
2005 Seoul International Works on Paper Fair
2005 NGV, This and Other Worlds – Contemporary Australian Drawing
2004 Please Be Seated, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery
2002 2004 Sulman Prize AGNSW
2000 Australian Drawing Biennial, Drill Hall, ACT
2008 (acquired) 2001 1998 1997 1996 Kedumba Drawing Prize
1998 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Prize Grafton (acquired)
1991 Recent Acquisitions Murdoch Court NGV
1986 Ray Hughes Group Drawing Show 200 Gertrude Street “Shipwrecked” 

Prizes Awards Grants & Residencies etc

2011 Festival of Ideas, ‘The Pull of the Landscape: The Artist’s Share, MU
2011 Aust-India Institute Residency
2008 Residency Printing Department RMIT
2008 Kedumba Drawing Prize (acquired)
2006 Robert Jacks Drawing Prize
2005 Banyule Works on Paper Art Award
2003 1986 National Works on Paper Prize (acquired)
2003 Australia-China Council Grant Studio Beijing Art Academy
2003 Australia-China Council Residency, Beijing
2003 Artist in Residence, Bundanon Centre, NSW
1999 Fisher's Ghost Award Campbelltown NSW (acquired)

Collections

National Gallery of Australia
National Gallery of Victoria
Bendigo Art Gallery
Warrnambool Art Gallery
Mornington Art Gallery
Minter Ellison Collection
Grafton City Art Gallery
National Bank of Australia
Potter Warburg Collection
Bankers Trust Collection
Queen Victoria Hospital Collection
Box Hill City Art Gallery
George Patterson Collection
Smorgon Collection
The Darling Foundation
Hamilton City Gallery
Heide Museum of Modern Art Art Gallery of NSW
Queensland University of Technology
Art Gallery of SA
Artbank
Queensland Art Gallery
RACV Collection        
University of Queensland
LaTrobe University (LUMA)

Artist Statement

Looking at these recent Walking Tracks/Dog paintings, sometimes I think inside every figurative artist there’s an abstract artist insisting on being let out; at other times it seems simply that the division between abstraction and figuration is a false one – we are all hybrid – a bit of both.

Sitting looking at my sister’s window in Brooklyn that has a brightly coloured stained glass strip running round it, I experienced a strong desire to draw and paint it, to Incorporate it in my work; then it morphed into the floor and the ground on which the kitchen/work table, dogs and cats stood. I don’t work from any theory, that’s never my starting point, rather from these vague or strong wishes and desires to depict something, one thing rather than another. It’s only later, after the fact, I can read meanings or reasons into the images.

The Brooklyn stained glass window is me looking at and understanding another world, an American world entirely different to the one I come from, yet looking from my family onto my familiar local landscape: Ceres with the chooks, Merri Creek where I walk: powerlines creek bike and walking track – an unfamiliar window onto my familiar world.

Many of these landscapes are viewed across a tabletop framed by walls on which hang things – some actual objects in my house: woven baskets from the Northern territory, a mask from Paris, paintings I remember like Nolan’s Moon Boy or others I wish I’d painted like John Campbell’s 72 Derwents, or Snakes and Ladders boards – a mixture of the literal and the remembered.

As Kirsty Grant describes in her essay for NGV exhibition This and Other Worlds 2005, the objects on the table are intimate inanimate things both from the domestic world of cooking and family life or from that of my studio. Then again there are the dogs Olive and Minnie who live here on loan from my son Charlie, and Melba the cat, all strangely and conveniently in reality and for the purposes of painting black and white.

My interest is in the relationship between things, as Graham Little says in his essay Seashells and Porcupines referring to DW Winnicott quoting psychoanalyst and painter Marion Milner in On not being able to paint when he talks of ‘tremendous significance that there can be in the interplay at the edges of two curtains or the surface of a jug that is placed in front of another jug’.

Feminist art history sees a tradition and perspective of women artists viewing the landscape as peopled, framed – from the verandah. My landscapes are that and my interiors often look out through a window onto an aspect of the outside world but I have never been able to locate myself in that tradition. My view is one where the inside and the outside world colour and inflect one another, coexist: perhaps a psychoanalytic one where the past can pop up in or affect the present. Time and space are not linear and cannot be cleanly compartmentalised – we all have little of Raskolnikov’s capacity for projection in us. Or as Morag Fraser in her essay Layering the Drawing Biennale Drill Hall, Canberra 2000, ‘Hattam doesn’t frame a feminine interior (her interiors are androgynous) or look out to the world through a window. Rather her exterior and interior worlds coexist, in tension on the same plane.’

As Jenny Long states in her catalogue essay for Perfect Day (an exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery with Angela Brennan), ‘the house of Katherine Hattam is open to the world, open to networks of information, emotion, energy and culture…Hattam maps the world flowing through her home’. Long argues ‘that in the culture of the twentieth century the house is increasingly an unstable, unsettled and complex location. The onslaught of the information age further troubles the domestic space that has sustained the modern idea of the home as a place separate from the world. It is now inside the house that issues of landscape and power are defined.’ This does seem to describe my pictures to me but I come back to something Eva Hesse said, ‘the desire comes first’. I can’t recall where I read it but it has stayed with me – my intuitive desire is to depict something and understand why: after the fact.