kate beynon

The Shapeshifter's Hour

11 June > 4 September 2022
Tuesday to Sunday, 11AM > 4PM

The Shapeshifter’s Hour explores supernatural themes, guardian figures and magical creatures. The imagery and characters in Beynon’s new body of work expand her interest in cross-cultural stories and mythologies.  

Beynon and her family’s diverse cultural backgrounds, including her Cantonese-Malaysian, Celtic/Welsh and Nordic ancestries, alongside the Afro-Caribbean and First Nations Pima-Mexican ancestries of her husband and sons, inform her conceptual and artistic practice. The resulting artworks blend personal connections and design influences in a semi-autobiographical and often collaborative way. Inspired by female Surrealists, Beynon’s work also draws from an eclectic range of pictorial traditions including graphic novels, animation, film, calligraphy, textile design and fashion.

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IMAGE > [Top] Kate Beynon, Companion Spirits [detail], 2018, acrylic on wood, 17 x 23.5cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery.
IMAGE > Kate Beynon, The Shapeshifter’s Cloak, 2021, acrylic on linen, 90 x 80cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery. Private Collection, Melbourne. Photograph: Andrew Curtis

IMAGE > Kate Beynon, Robe for the Blue Shaman Guardian (front), 2020, watercolour, acrylic, metallic pigments on cotton calico, re-purposed mixed materials, cotton, velvet and cotton thread. Image courtesy of the artist, Sutton Gallery and Geelong Gallery. Photo: Andrew Curtis

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The artist has used textile painting techniques and repurposed materials to create a series of amulets and costume-like artworks. The garments feature botanical and talismanic symbols such as eyes, leaves, skulls, serpentine forms and scales. The artist feels that these works are imbued with healing and protective qualities. For Beynon, these soft-sculptural costumes act as offerings to the guardians while taking on a presence or spirit of their own.

The exhibition also features an animation produced with Beynon’s husband, Michael Pablo and her son, emerging artist and animator Rali Beynon. This projected work brings Beynon’s paintings to life through experimental watercolour and digital techniques in a cyclical dream-like adventure.

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I love exploring colour and charm imagery, mixing painting and textile elements in my work. For The Shapeshifter’s Hour I’ve further imagined a gathering of confidantes as unconventional guardian figures, evoked through their distinctive costumes, accessories and objects.

Kate Beynon, April 2022

Kate Beynon

Kate Beynon is a Hong Kong-born, Naarm/Melbourne-based multidisciplinary artist. As the current Bank of Melbourne Collingwood Yards Resident (2021-22), Beynon is developing a new Art x Fashion project TudoKB, in connection with The Social Studio. Beynon is a 9-time Archibald finalist and Winner of the 2016 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize. Her work is included in the collections of the NGV, NGA, AGNSW, MCA, AGWA, AGSA. She has exhibited across Australia and internationally for more than twenty years and is represented by Sutton Gallery.

Be brave

IMAGE > Kate Beynon, Studio Self in Blue Shaman Helmet, 2022, acrylic on board, 40 x 30cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery.
IMAGE > [above] Kate Beynon, Room of Lucky Charms [detail] [Installation view, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney], 2017. Image courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery.

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