Creative working in River Studios

About Kate

Kate Daw explores issues of authorship, narrative and creative processes and moves between the domestic and the social, the everyday and the imagined. Her recent work restages the narrative form in contemporary art, combining materiality and history, language and image, art and literature, to explore their interchange of meaning.

Her practice is primarily a conceptually focused one. It is inspired as much by ideas found in literature, design and culture as the mediums of art she works in. Her work is expansive in the sense that it engages with a community of art institutions, artists, writers and designers on a regular basis, most significantly, with Stewart Russell. Russell and Daw have created a number of major public works since 2007.

Her visual art practice is engaged with two main overlapping strands of creative investigation. The first is narrative, specifically how narratives may function in contemporary visual artwork and domestic decoration and design, particularly in relation to feminist history and modernism.

Kate has degrees from the VCA, Glasgow School of Art, RMIT University and completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2006.

In 2015 she presented new work in a solo project at Sarah Scout Melbourne,Love, Work (Show me Grace) and with ACCA, Lights No Eyes Can See, a solo work performed and installed at the Melbourne Town Hall. She participated in The Biennale of Sydney 2014, Spring 1883 at the Windsor Hotel (with Sarah Scout) Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria, 2013/14, and had a solo booth at The India Art Fair in 2013. Kate has exhibited recently with the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2011), Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne (2012) and at Seven Art, New Delhi, with John Meade and Emily Floyd (2012). She has presented her work at Sarai Institute in Delhi in 2012, took part in a conference with 10 Australian artists and 10 Indian artists in Jaipur in 2013 (Australia India Institute) and initiated and led a group of VCA art students in a series of meetings with key artists in Delhi in 2014.

Kate has received many awards and grants, including the Samstag Scholarship (where she completed her MFA at the Glasgow School of Art). She has undertaken a residency at the Asialink studio in India, and has exhibited her work regularly and widely, both nationally and internationally. She has worked on a number of collaborative works in both Glasgow and Melbourne including Civil Twilight End (with Stewart Russell) a bell tower that rings every night at twilight in Docklands, Melbourne.

Kate has been Chair of the Creation Panel (New Work) at Arts Victoria and a Board Member of the Australia Council Visual Arts Board. She is a recipient of a 2008 State Library of Victoria Creative Fellowship, and (with Stewart Russell) completed the inaugural Basil Sellers Fellowship residency at the MCG. She is currently Head of Painting at the VCA.

How do you use your space?

I am currently mostly making paintings, so I have most of the space set up for this purpose; easels, paints, brushes, tables, overhead projector taking up most of the room. Books and a computer occupy the other side, necessary for the day to day administration of 'the business'. Thinking, writing, making...repeat.