Kym Mullen

Embrace, 2022

62 × 86 cm
Kym Mullen. Artist Statement

As the child of two teachers my school holidays were spent roaming bush or beach or both with my five siblings on camping trips to often remote places .My father was a science teacher and our bush walks were peppered with facts about the plants and places we were exploring, he taught us to look above and below us as well as what was right in front of us. Now as I walk in these environments I am also considering my relationship to the place as a visitor on the lands of First Nations peoples and the responsibility I feel to help preserve these wild places.

I like to work quickly so I am drawn to watercolour and gouache for the ease at which I can move them across a page and also the ability to layer them to achieve depth while still seeing something of the layers underneath, however I am constantly changing mediums to find the one that lets me say what I need to for that particular work so I also work in acrylics and oils. I paint from memory in my home studio in Brisbane but my works begin as plein air sketches or a series of words I record to help remember an often fleeting glimpse of something I see in the landscape.

My recent work is an exploration of what happens when you simplify landscape down to a repetitive almost script like language which can be used quickly and instinctively to describe a place and communicate something of the rhythm of being there .

This painting is a response to a recent trip to Central Australia on Arrernte country with a beautiful group of landscape painters, we camped in swags in a dry river bed and each morning we woke to the sun hitting the towering walls of the gap nestled in cushions of pale glowing yellow grasses .I felt very protected here.
Kym Mullen is a Brisbane based Australian painter who is interested in developing her own visual language with a focus on mark making to describe and document the places that she explores ,often returning to the same places time and time again in a search for new ways to record them . Working in both water based mediums and oils she works from memory in her studio although initial impressions are captured with plain air sketches in the landscape . Recently she has been a finalist in the Milburn Prize, The Lethbridge 20000 Art Prize and was chosen to be part of ACB Selects exhibition a selection of works chosen by Michael Reid Northern Beaches Creative Director Amber Creswell Bell.
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