My practice explores how our senses connect us to our surroundings, engaging with the immediacy of present time experience and the impermanence of existence. Working with tactile materials and embodied entanglements with place, my sculptural installations grow from a process of quiet observation to reflect on instability and fragility. By developing attentive focus and working with found, natural or everyday materials, I link sensate experiences of materiality and haptic thinking to evoke direct empathetic and palpable experiences of time, fluctuation and change.
Kath Fries' site-sensitive process often involves creating works in response to encounters with particular flora and fauna, like Apis melifera (western honeybee), Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushrooms), Ficus hillii (weeping fig tree) and Silybum marianum (Scottish milk thistle). Fries’ projects are usually embedded in a specific location such as the snow-blanketed countryside and forest in Hahmajärventie Finland; hanging swamps in the sandstone escarpments of Wollemi National Park; heritage conveyance buildings in Fremantle WA; attic ceiling-beams in a semi-demolished old Glebe terrace; the heritage listed wattle and daub Murray's cottage in Hill End; Walter Burley Griffin's Incinerator building in Willoughby; turn of the century industrial structures in Cremorne; old sections of the Rookwood Cemetery; abandoned areas in Gosford CBD; high tide line on the Strand beach in Townsville QLD; historical jail cells in The Lock-Up Museum Newcastle; vineyards in the Hunter Valley; the dry lakebed of Lake George NSW; and the hand-built mud-brick 1970’s buildings at Laughing Waters VIC. As such, Fries’ consideration of the nuances within ecologies of place magnifies the viewer’s experience of her work.
Kath Fries is an artist based in Sydney, Australia. She graduated from College of Fine Arts, UNSW with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Honours, 2002; and graduated from Sydney College of the Arts with a Master of Visual Arts, 2010. Fries is a current PhD candidate at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. Select awards include finalist in the Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artist Travel Scholarship 2011; winner of the Japan Foundation New Artist Award 2010; finalist in the 64th Blake Prize 2016; NSW Artists' Grant, NAVA Arts NSW 2015 and 2012; finalist in the Paramor Prize Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre 2015; and the Early Career International Project Grant, The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Australia 2014. Select solo exhibitions include Decant, Stein Gallery, Fairfield City Museum & Gallery 2014; Situational, Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Camperdown 2013; and Grove, Japan Foundation Gallery, Sydney 2010. Select group exhibitions include Future Stratigraphy, Sydney College of the Arts Galleries 2016; Her Moving Presence, AirSpace Projects, Marrickville 2016; Tracing Materiality, Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Camperdown 2016; Accreation: un-becoming and the surface as sight, Verge Gallery Darlington 2015; Colour, Form, Line, Articulate Project Space 2014; and Reinvention, Banco do Brasil Concept Branch, Manhattan, USA 2013. Kath Fries has been a Board member of Viscopy since 2010, Director of the Gunyah artists-in-residence program since 2011, and Chair of the John Fries Award Committee since 2011.
The copyright of all the artworks on this blog belong to Kath Fries (unless credited otherwise), please contact the artist if you wish to copy or reuse any images.