Gently unconventional, Katya lives at her own tangent to the world.
Dr Jane Malthus writes of Katya Gunn's work: Hanging hearts, a rat’s cushion: small-scale elaborate artworks made mostly of textiles, beads, and stitches can encompass vast ideas. Humanity drives Katya Gunn’s practice. Body and mind, life and death, health and illness, history and politics are compelling starting points for Katya’s research and making. Ideas are distilled and developed into beautiful forms in a variety of soft and hard media. The reflections, refractions, and absorption of light on textiles and beads are a potent, seductive factor in Katya’s art. The works attract the viewer into their often-challenging topics, rather than being confronting.
Katya’s studio is an Aladdin’s cave of treasures: fabrics, beads, yarns, threads, books, and journals compete for space in drawers, files and on shelves. She is drawn to vintage textiles and textures, especially silks, and loves to collect beautiful, interesting and even slightly macabre items. However, materials do not usually dictate her artwork. The ideas almost always come first and materials are chosen for their expressive and evocative qualities and colours. Compositions might mix familiar imagery and symbols with cryptic or coded elements, and text is used sparingly to provide clues for the viewer.
Her background and career as a medical doctor is one key to Katya’s practice as an artist: that scientific and people-focussed approach allows her to mix anatomical and allegorical references with confidence. It informs the scale and ideas in her work, the attention to detail, and the fact that a creation may well be functional as well as art. Perhaps her background also has a bearing on her level of organization. For despite the crowded, slightly chaotic studio space, Katya is organised and driven, with plans for exhibitions, work ready to show, more in progress, and ideas aplenty for future shows.
2002 'Colour and Culture' with Gretchen Howard at Peter Rae Gallery, Dunedin 2000 'Passions Unveiled' with Gretchen Howard at Peter Rae Gallery, Dunedin
Group and Invited Exhibitions
2009 Included in 'Post Stitch' at Lopdell House Gallery 2003 November, 'Passions Unveiled' at Peter Rae Gallery with Gretchen Howard -- Guest artist at Otago Art Society annual exhibition 2002 Invited artist Riversdale Arts annual art exhibition 2000 Work selected for Cleveland art awards 2000 Selected for travelling exhibition of Dunedin Crafts Council to Otaru, Japan 2001 Dunedin Craft Council annual exhibition 1999 Included in juried 'Multiple Threads' exhibition at Mairangi arts centre 1999 Included in juried 'At the Turn' exhibition at Golden C'art 1998 Gray's studio Christmas exhibition and sale, Dunedin 1996 'Peek-a-boo-bra' selected for New Zealand Wearable Art show
2012 Inspirational workshop at Dunedin Public Art Gallery based on 'Angels and Aristocrats' exhibition 2008 Five day masterclass in Australia for Textile Fibre Forum 2003 November Dunedin Public Art Gallery Beading class using works in 'The PreRaphaelite dream' exhibition as inspiration 2007 University of Otago Introductory beading course for students. Run over 2-4 weeks for each of 2 years
2000 Funded to attend advanced beading class with American sculptor David Chatt
2003 Invited artist Lawrence Summer Arts Festival 2002 Slide talk and beading demonstration for Dunedin Public Art Gallery
2006 Otago Festival of the Arts, Studio crawl
2006 'Stitch' entry reproduced as feature in Otago Daily Times 2006 Included in 'Stitch' by Ann Packer 2005 Listed in Otago Art Road map 2004 Feature article in 'threads' magazine 2003 Feature article in Australian Textile Fibre Forum magazine 2002 Feature article 'Impressions', ODT; with Gretchen Howard 1998 'Obviously Otago' selected as finalist in Telecom art award 1997 'Imperial Byzantine Easter Dance' included in Embroiderers Diary published by Georgeson
“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” -- Groucho Marx
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"It's not until you're an adult you appreciate how awesome a dog is. Your dreams start dying, somebody cheats on ya, bankers f*#k up your 401k, ya know? Then you come home and that dog's looking at you and he's like, 'Dude, you're awesome!' It's like, 'No dude, YOU are f*@#ng awesome!" -- Bill Burr
"I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops." -- Stephen Jay Gould
"My absolute favorite piece of information is the fact that young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of trees." -- Douglas Adams
“If you are lonely when you're alone, you are in bad company” -- Jean-Paul Sartre
"The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public." -- George Jessel
Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitter steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree you still believe it to be a beautiful place. -- Kurt Vonnegut
"Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy." -- Isaac Newton
"Historically, the most terrible things - war, genocide, and slavery - have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience." -- Howard Zinn
"Childhood is like being drunk: everyone remembers what you did, except you." Unknown
“It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English, up to fifty words used in correct context, no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese.” -- Carl Sagan
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