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Kim Kennedy Austin | Industry, Charity, Faith, Hope

Kim Kennedy Austin | Industry, Charity, Faith, Hope

This exhibition presents a selection of work by Kim Kennedy Austin (’01) produced over the past two decades. The aim has been to highlight the broad aesthetic, intellectual and cultural territory that Austin weaves together into a unique and labour intensive practice. Austin looks at structural systems and emotive aesthetics in the ubiquitous sea of printed matter that is trying to sell us products, religion and lifestyle.

Operating on the fringe of the social and economic milieu that this material is produced for, and often finding attraction in things that have just gone out of style or lost their function, Austin re-invests these images and objects with labour and attention to detail. Transforming mechanically reproduced forms into uniquely handmade objects, Austin points us back to the creative impulse and imagination that likely inspired their original production.

In this exhibition, the mechanical language of industry is asked to co-exist with spiralling and heart shaped sentimentality of popular culture in the form of text-based drawings, watercolours and needlepoint cross-stitching. Austin activates an artistic position that can neither be called dry conceptualism or wet expressionism as it folds references to music, literature, industry, television and craft into its own structure and sensibility. Here we find a dialogue between instinct and intellect that ultimately visualizes a labour of love. Accenting this first survey of Austin’s practice will be a new body of work produced for the West Vancouver Museum that emerges out of Austin’s interest and research into the iron bridges that connect the North Shore not only to other land masses, but other histories.

The title of the exhibition, Industry, Charity, Faith, Hope, is taken from the refrain of Oh Industry, a song performed by Bette Midler in the 1988 film Beaches. The exhibition is accompanied by a text-based response written by the writer, poet and archivist Larissa Beringer. This exhibition is guest-curated by Patrik Andersson. The artist and curator dedicate this exhibition to their friend and long-time supporter of the arts, Jack Adelaar (year…-2014)

Kim Kennedy Austin: Industry, Charity, Faith, Hope
West Vancouver Museum
January 13 – March 7, 2015
Opening Reception: Tuesday, January 13, 7pm

View the Facebook event page.

About the Artist: Kim Kennedy Austin is a Vancouver-based artist. Since graduating from Emily Carr in 2001, her work has been shown locally and internationally at galleries including Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery, The Vancouver Art Gallery, the Charles H. Scott Gallery, State Gallery, Lawrence Eng Gallery, and Neon, Sweden.

About the Curator: Patrik Andersson is a curator and art historian who teaches contemporary art and ideas at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. He holds a PhD in Art History from the University of British Columbia and has published numerous articles and books. Since 1997 he has been operating the independent curatorial and publishing project Trapp.

About the Writer: Larissa Beringer is a writer, and an art librarian at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. She has lectured on alternative libraries and archives, the documents of contemporary art and artists’ publications.

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