Kathryn Carter explores a sense of place in her paintings that connects her to the New Zealand landscape through observational studies of islands and headland landforms predominantly in Auckland and Northland.
In her exhibition opening November 2020, Carter focuses on Rangitapu, a headland Pa site significant to local Ngatiwai. It is a visual and spiritual anchor for her work, representing great power and beauty that is equally fragile and vulnerable to degradation. The atmospheres encountered in these works relate to the importance of identity, place and the sacred. She believes there is continued movement and change in the times we live in, impacting our perception and potentially heightening the sense of value embedded within these sacred spaces.
Carter’s observational notes capture the essence and mood she expresses visually.
‘In the still of the late afternoon and into evening the light leaves great shadows in blue, sap green and deep mauve in the bush. The sky is still bright in mid-summer until late but as the light slowly fades the purple bruises of the night fill the recesses of the valleys and in the dusk the estuary glides slowly past the copper mangroves towards the sea’.
A continuous panoramic view of Matapouri Bay in ink and oils expands on an original three-hour drawing created on site - a study of light as it changes through time, noon until early afternoon in January 2020. The works are painted in a limited palette of colours to clarify form.
‘Light changes the view and perception of form through different times of the day, in different weathers and seasons and no moment is ever the same,’ Carter says. The painted or drawn record of the moment allows it to exist longer that it would have otherwise and the process allows insight into the subject for a longer period of time.
Kathryn’s process begins with sketches and paintings en plein air. This immersion within the land and seascape means the vitality is felt and captured within the work. Some of her working drawings and paintings appear in this exhibition.