Through her printmaking and installation work, Kate Bohunnis focuses on what we know about ourselves and questions our desire to have all the answers.
“I’m examining the productive power of not knowing in the pursuit of an inventive passage,” Bohunnis says. “My installations call into question one’s inclination to self-define, residing only within the restrictive parameters of what is known of ourselves.”
Bohunnis’ career has catapulted since graduating with Honours at Adelaide College of the Arts in 2017. This year alone she has received the David Hayden Professional Development Award at the Helpmann Graduate exhibition, was selected for Hatched at PICA (Perth Institute of Contemporary Art), held a solo exhibition at Sister Gallery and was part of a group exhibition at Holy Rollers for SALA. There is no sign of things slowing down: Bohunnis is one of the recipients of the Sanskriti Kendra Residency in New Delhi, India.
Much of Bohunnis’ recent work has been concerned with how we portray ourselves in our quest to find our sense of self and, in particular, our outward physical projection. “I am questioning why we choose to self define so much and how that makes us perform. I’m interested in what that does for us emotionally and in our physical manifestation of these emotions.”
Bohunnis reworks and reappropriates materials to reflect the idea of rewriting memories in search of a new narrative. For example, the work sandy’s slumping, which was featured recently in Psychache at Holy Rollers, was created using latex, 60kg sand, cotton drill, fleece, steel and besser blocks. “The focus here is to translate memory to feeling and feeling to object,” she says. “By using material as a form of resistance, both adhering to the material and subverting from the material, we can create a new conversation of emotional plasticity.”
During her six-week residency in India, Bohunnis hopes to expand her practice in a new environment and explore more traditional techniques that she can blend into her contemporary practice. “I am really interested in working with textiles and perhaps clay,” she says. “I might look into some more print work as well.”
Having previously travelled through India, Bohunnis was struck by the richness of the country’s culture and making. She hopes this will influence her work. “It’s everywhere and it’s so abundant and ingrained in everyday life.”
Header image: Kate Bohunnis, strong house soft walls (installation view.)