Kate Rohde: flourish
Blending the lavishness of the Baroque and Rococo period with her interests in natural history, Kate Rohde conjures scenes from a world not too dissimilar from our own in her new work flourish. Having recently returned from a studio residency at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, and visiting some of Europe’s niche private museums, Rohde, brings the elaborate traditions and landscaping of European gardens to TarraWarra Museum of Art.
Flourish mimics the layout of a formal garden with colourful vitrines and dioramas exploring the theme of the four seasons. Adopting a Eurocentric vision, or rather version, of flora and fauna, the world she creates is theatrical and fantastical. Her vision is an amalgamation of images from the National Geographic and Baroque and Rococo design sensibilities. She draws upon craft and industrial grade materials using a distinctive hand-made aesthetic. Transforming the gallery space with curlicue designed hedges, elaborate dioramic vitrines and haunting paper mâché sculptures, each of the four seasons is reimagined in Rohde’s fanciful and curious designs.
Adapting a variety of natural and man-made products Rohde also explores the boundaries between the organic and the designed, the natural and the artificial. This is further accentuated by the natural setting of TarraWarra Museum of Art in the Yarra Valley seen through the gallery’s north facing picture window, which provides a striking contrast to Rohde’s interpretation of the highly manipulated gardening traditions of Europe.
The creation of this new work was assisted by Arts Victoria.