Luminous Realms, a major solo exhibition by acclaimed Australian artist Kate Rohde, sees the Craft exhibition space transformed into a hallucinatory Wunderkammer or ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ to present an immersive installation of newly created and retrospective ornamental vitrines brimming with artificial flora and fauna, faux taxidermy, assemblages, and zoomorphic sculptural vessels.
Luminous Realms makes reference to a uniquely baroque approach of layering decorative patterning across multiple objects, wall coverings and soft furnishings which sees the gallery walls covered in visually elaborate, synthetically surfaced wallpaper designed exclusively for Craft. Cultivated from Rohde’s object based practice, these uniquely developed wall designs of cascading pastel hair, darkly luminescent zoological animal motifs, and autumnal botanical gardens of small resin gems and golden coloured icing filigree, work to create a kaleidoscopic immersive environment that elaborates on interior traditions.
In Luminous Realms, Rohde’s work subverts notions of value and preciousness while drawing parallels between traditional art and craft technologies through a commentary on contemporary digital design and the use of the most pervasive synthetic materials of the 20th Century.
This exhibition marks the launch of Craft’s contemporary showcase Focus on Craft and is the first iteration of a dedicated exhibition program which recognises the careers of outstanding exhibiting artists whose works are embedded in craft materiality and technique.
Kate Rohde’s intensely detailed and colourful aesthetic has been sought out for a wide range of collaborations in the fields of fine art, fashion and jewellery. Her work has been exhibited both locally and internationally and is held in a number of major public and private collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia and Heide Museum of Modern Art. In 2016, Rohde exhibited in the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia, and in 2015 was a finalist for the prestigious Rigg Design Prize at the NGV.