Artist Statement Kathrin Longhurst

“Sum of its Parts” August 2023

oil on linen, 91x91cm

The title for my latest series of works, and my first with M. Contemporary, is inspired by the saying that the ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’ That is, we achieve better results by combining resources and working together than working alone.

Synergy has always been central to my work as a figurative painter, and the pieces on display here are no exception. Throughout the process I worked in complete collaboration with eight models, without whom none of these paintings would be possible. The result: a merging of creative energies that represent a strong message of female empowerment. One that combines my own life experiences with each of my sitter’s narratives.

The works are also a snapshot of where I am in this moment. These mostly monochrome paintings are inspired by a recent overseas trip to the US: from Andy Warhol’s Pittsburgh to New York, the epicentre of Western Street and Pop Art. I’ve used a different colour palette for each, from cool to warm tones. The red, orange and yellows provoke a sense of anger, rage and passion while the cooler greens and blues give the figures a sculptural air, like the oversized marble statues of past leaders, emperors and dictators. Stripping away natural skin tones also subverts the realism of traditional figurative painting, promoting my subjects to symbols and/or archetypes. As such they represent how I like to see them: larger than life, towering over the viewer, and unashamedly themselves.

Past Exhibition Essays

Sum of its Parts August 2023

We Can Be Heroes December 2022

Mind-Field April 2022

Fighting Spirit December 2021

Indoctrinated May 2021

Standing Strong May 2020

Like the Wind, oil on linen, 91x91cm, SOLD

Protagonist June 2018

Free Fall 2, oil on linen, 92x92cm, SOLD

Into Thin Air March 2018

Age of Defiance, oil on canvas, 180x180cm, SOLD

Forging of a Human Spirit March 2017

Fading History February 2016

Heroes and Villains November 2014

Children of the Revolution May 2013