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OWs make a splash in the Art world

Kirstin McIver (Guthrie) (OW1992)

Making a splash in the Art world is never easy, but this year it has happened for two of our OWs, each in their own different way.

It’s quite a time to launch your first major solo art exhibition in New York, but Kristin McIver (Guthrie) (OW1992) has done just that. Earlier this year her Impressions exhibition showed at the prestigious Jane Lombard Gallery NYC and featured a series of video sculptures examining post-truth, data and misinformation in the face of climate change. This exhibition was the first iteration of a three-part series between the Jane Lombard Gallery (New York), MARS Gallery (Melbourne) and Royale Projects (Los Angeles). Utilising the forms of water, fire and earth, each show engages the climatic effects of global warming most urgent to the galleries’ specific locations.

Kristin received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Melbourne in 2014. Her work was awarded the Melbourne Sculpture Prize in 2012. Other exhibitions and achievements include Melbourne Now (National Gallery of Victoria 2013), Status Quo (James Makin Gallery 2013), Data Portraits (Royale Projects: Contemporary Art, California 2013), The Art OMI Residency (2013), ME/ME (Chasm Gallery, NY 2014), and the Vancouver Biennale Residency Program (2015) with significant acquisitions by the National Gallery of Victoria, Latrobe University Museum of Art and the Friebe Collection.

Kristin’s multi-disciplinary conceptual practice includes sculpture, painting, sound and installation, utilising devices such as language, light, mixed media and new media, with the works exploring themes of identity and celebrity within the context of participatory and consumer culture.

Ash Keating’s unique style of painting with a fire extinguisher

Ash Keating (OW1998) has been painting explosively overseas and across Australia since 2003, having exhibited extensively in galleries as well as creating numerous large-scale, site-responsive outdoor projects, many of which can be found across Melbourne.

Following a year of creative experimentation and marking a transition in technique, in 2021 Ash debuted his show Duality, comprising two bodies of work showing concurrently at Linden New Art in Melbourne. Duality opened in February showing Aerial, before changing to Fall in late March. As Ash himself says, ‘Why show one body of work when I’ve got three months in a gallery, when I could make another – the same size – and swap it over halfway through?’

Ash’s outdoor murals and large-scale canvas works have appeared nationally and internationally, including in the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Latrobe University of Modern Art, Art Gallery of Ballarat, and Museum of Contemporary Art’s C3West (MCA). His work has been exhibited internationally at Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago, Chile, Seoul Art Space and Artsonje Centre, Seoul, South Korea, the 6th SCAPE Biennial 2010–11, and Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand.

He has also been commissioned to produce public works for the NGV in Melbourne, the Adelaide Festival Centre and Sydney’s Domain, while his works are held in collections including the NGV, NGA, MCA, Australian Gallery of NSW, Monash University of Modern Art and Artbank.

Ash, who graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) in Painting from Monash University in 2003, and BFA Honours from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2006, has rarely made use of a paintbrush. Most notably recognised for his impulsive and exuberant style, attributed to the repurposing of fire extinguishers to paint, he continues to make magic in his Melbourne-based suburban studio, with vast ceilings eight metres high to accommodate his oversized canvases.

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