ArtsHub review of 'Situational', Lana Howe

"Fragile and contemplative, Situational is a record of artist Kath Fries’ four-week residence at the Bundanon property. Gifted by the Boyd family, The Bundanon Trust is a thriving arts centre, promoting the interaction between visual artists and the bushland that surrounds it. An exhibition of installation, sculpture, photography and video, Fries leads us through her process of observation and distillation of the local landscape: of thistledown, kangaroo fur, and fencing wire. Found objects contrast against the natural bushland, local wildlife, and human endeavour; Fries’ work echoes the principles of arte povera, a 1960s movement, which encouraged the use of everyday objects in art. 
Thistledown, the silky feather-like fibre of a thistle seed, captured against soft window light, looking out onto the countryside, the wooden fence post and the man-made wire. The memory of passing a kangaroo, moss crowned branches, fence paling, twine. A tree stump with its army of termites. Fries’ collection of found objects captures and releases the essence of the ephemeral, of impermanence.
Her use of thistledown draws on Fries’ prior work with dandelion seeds, leaves, hair, netting and natural fibre. In Situational, thistledown is the star of the show. It features in all of the photographs, as well as the installation piece Insinuate, and the title work, a video production. Printed on cotton rag, Drifters I and Drifters II are set on a windowsill, against the light. In Threaded Thistledown, the string of thistledown is loosely moving in the wind, or so we imagine, against a window overlooking the property in the distance. A moment of country ennui, or our own sentimentality around the idea of country stillness.
Fries’ use of contre-jour is utilised in the presentation of her Horizons I-IV sculptures: thumb-size pieces of found wood, set against a narrow frame and looking out against the milky whiteness of dimmed gallery windows and shadows of street wire fencing..."

Lana Howe
ArtsHub Editor

Something Else - thistledown, kangaroo fur and termite gnawed wood

"When you experience an artwork you love, there is a moment where you and the work co-exist in time and space. The longer an artwork has stood the test of time, the more people have shared this similar experience, fragmented over time. What then occurs when a work is itself on a shorter timeline, or when its existence is pinned to one temporal or spatial situation, which could so easily slip out of our grasp? Kath Fries is a local Sydney artist and the winner of a number of art awards in recent years, and her exhibition Situational explores notions of site-sensitivity and site-responsiveness in artworks that imply the fleeting nature of time, memory and temporariness, as well as spatial and natural ties to a landscape. Her latest solo exhibition was created during her residency at Bundanon Trust, a unique 1,100 hectare charitable trust left by Arthur and Yvonne Boyd for future artists to work in and seek inspiration from."
EastSide Radio 89.7FM
Maren Smith, March 2013

"Kath Fries solo exhibition Situational is an exploration of tactility, temporality and memory through site-sensitive sculptural installations, sculptures, videos and photographs created during a residency at Bundanon Trust last year. In interview with Maren, Kath Fries explains the idea of site-responsiveness and how it guides her practice. We hear about her time in the landscape at Bundanon Trust, her productivity at magic hour and her use of found and natural materials such as thistledown, kangaroo fur and termite gnawed wood. Kath Fries also explained her influence from Arte Povera, and the movement of the purpose of the artwork into the realm of the audience and individual memory and associations. The art in the everyday is heightened by the fleeting nature of the relationship between the individual and the artwork as they coincide on many planes in the space of the Chrissie Cotter Gallery."
Something Else
Maren Smith, March 2013

"... a series of small scale works along with photographs and a video, documented time and how time moved. However, the difference in scale did not take away the beautiful sensuality that Kath has for the universe..."
Arthur Chan, March 2013

Six to Eight review of 'Situational'

"Situational shows artist Kath Fries' response to her time as artist in residence at Bundanon. Her work takes the form of site responsive installation, usually of an ephemeral nature and often using delicate materials. The first time I came into contact with Fries' subtle and delicate installations was at Artscape in 2010, using masses of feathers in the trees. Currently Fries uses thistle from the area plus also found rock and wood from the site. She has combined this with photographic documentation and video projection. 
The way the exhibition has been installed not only evokes her responses to the surroundings at Bundanon, but insinuates itself into the unique fabric of Chrissie Cottier Gallery, making it doubly "responsive". Delicate tufts of thistle emerge from the cracks in the wall, then wander down string to collect and nestle on the floor in a corner. Tiny rocks collected from the site become grand statues evocative of animal and sacred place icons by their framing inside a nook cut out of paper hung in from the ceiling to the floor. Behind them the fading light of the late afternoon into evening, allows us experience what Kath describes as her favourite time of day during the residency.
This exhibition is part of Art Month Sydney and MOST (Marrickville Open Studio Trail) and ends on 17 March 2013, with an artist talk at the Gallery.
Match sure you catch this show before it fades with the day."
Pamela Lee Brenner, Guest Reviewer for Sydney