Kate Bergin is a seriously amazing painter.
Kate Bergin is an artist that takes whimsy very seriously. The Australian still life painter has become known for her incredibly detailed paintings of animals incorporated in the strangest ways to more classic still life compositions. Her latest solo show entitled Wild Life, opened September 8th, 2016 at Mossgreen Gallery in Melbourne.
Kate, who was trained at The Victorian College of Arts, drew inspiration from the close access she had to the National Gallery of Victoria, where she could get up close and personal to all of the amazing old master paintings in their collection. It was here that she honed her painterly technique.
Her paintings are filled to the brim with exotic animals, foods, and strange odds-and-ends, all adeptly rendered in an ultra-realistic style. To achieve this exactitude, Kate’s studio is equally brimming with the strange objects she uses to create her still life compositions, including taxidermy animals, and her iconic “film noir” telephone. She also travels to zoos all over Australia to take photographs of animals to use as subjects. Perhaps this is what helps her achieve the “un-still life” effect – the sense that everything in the painting might topple over, or even leap out towards the viewer.
There is a strong sense of wonder that lives in these paintings, with strange groupings of animals and objects coming together to create fantastical scenes that could almost be right out of the pages of a Lewis Carroll story.
And what adds even more to this fantastical exhibition, is that the opening in Melbourne also held an “aesthetic sensory experience” entitled Concert of Birds, in collaboration with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, where a trio of players performed amidst the paintings on opening night. A fantastic event for such fanciful paintings! Wish I could have been there.