Kate Shaw’s Landscapes Highlight the Tension Between Man and Nature

Australian artist Kate Shaw is known for her dramatic landscapes that are half real-half surreal. Formed out of paint pours and collage techniques, her landscapes capture the transcendent beauty of nature, but at the same time highlight the dangers that lurk in the shadows of a world that is over-populated and over-polluted.

“The paintings deal with the tensions and dichotomies in the depiction of the natural world and our relationship to it,” she relayed once in an interview with The Art and the Curious.

“I am concurrently exploring the sublime in nature whilst imbuing a sense of toxicity and artificiality in this depiction,” she notes.

The intention, according to Shaw, is to reflect upon the contradiction between our inherent connection to the natural world and continual distancing from it.

Using swirls of acrylic paint, ink, glitters and powders, Shaw mimics the flow of natural processes. According to Shaw, her interest in landscape painting began after a visit to Central Australia.

“A visit to Central Australia in 2004 really helped me coalesce ideas about the materiality of paint and how this could connect with the material world through landscape,” she relayed in an interview with Lost At E Minor. “The sedimentary layers of rocks literally looked like the paint I was playing around with in my studio, and it started from there.”

Having shown her work extensively throughout Australia, as well as New York, and Seoul, Shaw has also been included in prominent Australian art prizes.