LORE with Kate Stehr

Exhibition LORE with Kate Stehr by Bernie Fischer

Exhibition LORE with Kate Stehr. Images courtesy of Wollongong Art Gallery and Bernie Fischer


We stumbled upon a quirky little show at the Wollongong Art Gallery recently. Titled LORE, it’s a fascinating, interactive, ensemble exhibition, well worth a visit when we’re all allowed out again.

Curated by Virginia Settre, ‘LORE is not simply stories of old. Lore is living narratives in a state of flux, as we grapple with the locus of our past and present.’

The exhibition showcasing artists from the Illawarra Association for the Visual Arts (IAVA) takes on the intangibility of lore as a concept for exploring perception, memory, knowledge and the lure of place. Created for sensory engagement, the IAVA artists also invite the public to touch, draw, listen, see and remember as part of the exhibition itself and the accompanying public access program.

Artists in LORE are a strong bunch of mid-to-late-career women – Alannah Dreise, Angela Forrest, Deborah Redwood, Jennifer Jackson, Karen Hook, Kate Stehr, Penny Hulbert, Peter Hewitt, Sue Smalkowski, Virginia Settre, and their individual and collaborative take on the thematic is fascinating and divergent.

Alongside one of our favourite landscape painters, Sue Smalkowski, we were particularly captured by the work of sculptor, Kate Stehr whose work we hadn’t seen before.

For LORE she has created a suite of unique drawing implements from a mixture of found and carved timbers and other natural materials and elements, each relating to story and folk lore, the idea of story and how it reveals itself through the process of art making (not just in the final piece).

Stehr also sees her mark-making implements as tools to instigate story through their practical use and aesthetically, the whimsy and poetry of the sculptures layer meaning in such a captivating way. A mix of synesthesia-style lettering – it feels multi-sensorial – and what we imagined as little poetry metres, exquisitely formed and expressed, it’s the groupings of her sculptural works in a salon hang that resonates.

Stehr’s work really sparked us. She’s captured an idea around visual language and the importance of the process or the journey so eloquently. Its just joyful!

Stehr works predominantly in the three-dimensional space and says that each of her artistic practices inform the others.

She holds a Masters of Philosophy – Creative Arts (Research) on the translation of traditional narratives into sculptural form and her most recent works have been inspired by mythology, folk lore and traditional narratives. The translation of these oral histories into concrete sculptural forms drives her making practice.
 Kate makes both free-standing and wall pieces and works in a range of scales.

LORE with Kate Stehr is on until 5 September at Wollongong Art Gallery which also has some other great shows so allow a good half day for your visit.
Follow @katestehr

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