Kate Jones: Ornithology
31 October - 22 November 2015


This work is a synergy between art and science, said Kate Jones talking about her work for this Exhibition.

The paintings in "Ornithology"are directly inspired by my work with taxidermy bird specimens at the Australian Museum. As a conservator, I focus on the scientific and ethical preservation of the museum’s natural science and cultural collections.

Repairing specimens and painstakingly cleaning feathers, I closely examine each bird and visually absorb intricate details of their composition and structure. Contemplating the inherent energy and character of each specimen was integral preparation for these detailed portraits of both taxidermy specimens and living birds. The series includes portraits of Dr Walter Boles, the ornithologist who managed the bird collection at the museum for many decades.
Compositionally the works are anthropomorphic-style head-and-shoulders poses. The stark background for the taxidermy portraits mirrors the mid-grey backdrop used when the specimens are photographed for scientific documentation purposes in the laboratory.
There is a resonance between the taxidermy portraits and live subjects that mirrors the shifting and fluctuating link between life and death. I am exploring the intrinsic link and interdependency between these two states of being.

Kate´s work explores the role of natural science collections and their interconnection with the natural world. The museum´s collections are very much alive in that they are frequently accessed, studied and referred to by scientists, students and researchers – and reinterpreted by artists. They are an invaluable resource in understanding our constantly changing and evolving natural world.

Highlighting the importance of science is a driving force behind my art practice, particularly in the current political climate where science and conservation do not receive the attention they deserve.

Kate Jones is a local Sydney emerging artist with a strong representation in significant finalist award competitions including the City of Albany Art Prize, WA, and the Mosman Art Prize, Sydney.