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lost: new works by Kate McMillan at the John Curtin Gallery

News story

Perth artist Kate McMillan’s exhibition at the John Curtin Gallery from 31 October 2008 is a visual and sonic exploration of a site from her personal history.

The works in Lost are based on the intriguing history of the Buried Village in New Zealand and includes an eerie audio installation and large scale photographs.

Curtin University of Technology‘s Dean of Art, Professor Ted Snell, said the exhibition is the culmination of three years of research by McMillan.

“In this work Kate McMillan draws together fragments of her life and interweaves them with the experiences of others to create a poetic meditation about loss and concealment,” Professor Snell said.

“Although it is a very personal work that examines the experience of simultaneously loosing memories and preserving them, it is finally a work that speaks to us all by moving beyond the specific and into shared experience and understanding.”

McMillan explained her process and how she came to create these intriguing works.

“As is often the case with my work, I begin with a personal story or place and add layers of meaning that intertwine and respond to one another,” she said.

“The images in the exhibition feature current day scenes from Lake Tarawera in New Zealand, where my late father’s childhood holiday home was located. It is also the site of a devastating volcanic eruption in the late 19th century that buried the villages surrounding the lake.

“Based along the most active geo-thermal area on the planet, the soil around the lake is constantly shifting and moving, both revealing and concealing the activity that bubbles away under the surface.”

McMillan has exhibited extensively over the past few years. In 2004 she spent six months in Switzerland developing and researching her practice. In 2003 she undertook a residency in both Beijing and at the Australia Council Studio in Tokyo. She also spent one month in Berlin researching her solo exhibition Disaster Narratives for the 2004 Perth International Arts Festival.

She completed her Master of Creative Arts by Research through an Australian Postgraduate Scholarship from Curtin in 1999, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art until 2005. Her work is currently represented in various Australian collections.

Lost is accompanied by a 24-page colour catalogue with an essay by Geraldine Barlow, Curator of the Monash Museum of Art in Melbourne.

The exhibition will run concurrently with the John Curtin Gallery’s last exhibition for 2008, Denise Green: Out West that showcases the work of the Australian-born New York-based artist and writer.

Editors note:

Lost and Denise Green: Out West will be open to the public from 31 October – 5 December 2008. Entry is free. The Gallery is open between 12pm and 5pm Monday to Friday and will also be open for its Sunday@Curtin event between 1pm and 4pm on Sunday 30 November 2008. Contact: Monique Billstein on 08 9266 3353 or email for further information

Modified: 15 October 2008