Kate Just

On sunny Saturday afternoon I took a “break” from study and rode down to Nellie Castan gallery in South Yarra to see Kate Justs new show.

I was feeling a little down and to be honest, I was looking forward to a bit of this kind of colourful, knitted goodness :

The Garden Of Interior Delights, 2008
Don’t Come Gallery, Royal Arcade, Melbourne
Hand and machine knitted wool and acrylic yarns, cardboard, wire, tape, plastic tubing, rope.

A New Day In A Strange Land, 2009
Nellie Castan Gallery, South Yarra, VIC
Various materials including epoxy clay, metallic enamel paints, found urn, inverted vase, hand and machine knitted plastic, fishing bait, wire, expanding foam, fibreglass, fabric, cymbal, bubblewrap, branches.


Silly me, instead I was greeted with works like this set of huge hand molded clay hanging keys :

Her Keys, 2010

epoxy modelling compound, armature wire, aluminum foil, enamel paint,

shoe polish, cotton machine knitted handles.


At first I was disappointed, although intrigued by the collage works, that were presented as floating entities within perspex rectangular boxes, I was actually sure that I was in the wrong place. But later, on today finally getting around to reading the accompanying brochure I’m much more drawn to the works, and obviously have a better understanding of them.

Inward Gathering explores notions of femininity and (female) intimacy and questions avenues of inward exploration in order to extricate one’s self. Hence, the ornate keys, and collaged items that seem to be depicting objects borrowed from the operating theatre. On a very serious and plain level, the show acknowledges things like cervix cancer and breast cancer and the fact that the very things that are contributing to our sense of femininity could secretly and discreetly house our death. Furthermore, the obvious possibility that we need to be internally examined or have parts taken from within in order to determine our health.

Obviously, these works are referencing one’s sense of gender, selves and not only the external. cultural and social perceptions of the aforementioned themes but also more personally, our own. The catalogue quotes de Beauvoir, obviously lending the work to a feminist prism of perception but personally I found the more literal and physical meaning to be a more forceful agent, maybe these things are just currently on my mind.

Either way Just holds a Masters in Fine Arts from RMIT and is currently a candidate for the Fine Arts PhD program at Monash University, the show is definitely worth a look and runs until the 20th of November be sure to check it out.


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