Sunday, October 23, 2022

Antipodean Bohemian Katka Adams | Artist

 When Katka Adams and her mother arrived in Australia as refugees they didn’t speak a word of English. It was 1969 and Katka was seven years old. Escaping the political repression of communism in Prague, Katka and her mother moved through several migrant hostels, including Bonegilla near Albury-Wodonga, before settling in Melbourne.

“They just stuck me in a class of regular kids. I had to relearn my whole way of writing, and I didn’t understand what the words meant”, says Katka, in her now strong, easy Australian accent. The language barrier meant Katka spent a lot of time alone drawing, even as a young child, and developed a fondness for art that never wavered.

Finishing high school in Sydney, Katka had her heart set on going to art school.

“The career adviser said, ‘You’ve really got to look at your other options’, and I said, ‘what other options, there are no other options!’”

It is now 20 years since Katka and her husband, Russell, bought their small settler’s cottage on the eastern edge of Clunes. From her home studio, Katka looks out across their 11 acres of established fruit trees and rainforest, across the valley to the hills that hide the coast from view. Working on only one piece at a time, and having to complete it before beginning the next is a way of ensuring her drawings get finished at all. The anticipation of seeing what will emerge on the blank page motivates Katka.

Katka Adams | Artist

Walk on the wild side at Tweed River Art Gallery

WILD Interiors will grace the walls of Tweed River Art gallery when artist Katka Adams puts pastel on paper.

WILD Interiors will grace the walls of Tweed River Art gallery when artist Katka Adams puts pastel on paper.

Running until June 2 an exhibition of her pastel drawings playfully invite the viewer to engage with her visual stories.

On first inspection, the works appear to represent familiar domestic spaces - but on closer viewing the works can be seen to explore the complex realisations between humanity and other species.

"At the heart of Wild Interiors is an investigation of the separation of our domestic spaces from the natural world outside," Rose Marin, Public Programs and Education officer from Grafton Regional Gallery.

"It taps into the popular trend of incorporating faux nature into our domestic life.

Tweed River Art Gallery Director, Susi Muddiman said the exhibition merges two Australian ideals: our love of nature and landscape, and our dream of a beautiful home and lifestyle.

"This is a challenging dilemma as ever-increasing development threatens more and more wildlife habitat," she said.

"As we destroy our natural environment, we lavishly decorate our homes, often using colours, motifs and patterns inspired by nature".