Louise Kerr: Faithful and Wild
1 December 2018 – 13 January 2019
Louise Kerr’s exhibition Faithful and Wild explores the importance of dogs, both in our own domestic lives, and in the wider environment. Wild dogs have roamed the Blue Mountains for thousands of years. In the national park that surrounds our homes, the Dingo (or Warrigal) live and are occasionally sighted. The Wild Dog Mountains area to the west of Katoomba has a range of geographical features named after dogs including Mount Warrigal, Mount Yellow Dog and Dingo Creek, to name a few.
Dogs have been revered by ancient civilizations reaching as far back as the Palaeolithic era when images of dogs and dog-like creatures were painted on the cave walls. Domestically, we have a complex relationship with our precious friends. They are our companions, protectors and work-mates. Ever faithful, they never give up on us. The dog has been inextricably sewn into our lives for thousands of years and Kerr’s work investigates how deeply it is embedded in her own and the lives of others and the place we live.
Kerr’s work is process driven and begins with the documentation of observations as drawings in visual diaries; These drawings form the basis for her sculptures. The sculptures themselves are made using fine twine and hand sewn with cotton thread – an ancient technique known as Coiling. This is an ancient technique and a process closely associated with basket making, which allows Kerr to produce large, three-dimensional forms as well as flat works in relief. The completed works are painted. Sometimes, clay and hair is also applied.
Louise Kerr lives and works in Springwood, Blue Mountains. She has been exhibiting since 1979, after completing a Diploma of Visual Arts at Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education.
Recent solo shows include Threads Through the Landscape (2015) and Chasing the Bone Keepers (2017) at King Street Gallery on William. In 2015 Kerr presented her solo exhibition Dog Days at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery.
In 2016 she was a finalist in both the Pro Hart Outback Prize and the Woollhara Small Sculpture Prize.
A Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Exposé Program exhibition
Image: LOUISE KERR Backyard Dogs 2018, soft sculpture using coiling technique; hand sewn with twine, cotton, thread, paint and hair, 110cm x 40cm x 4cm