Cool hunter predictions: Kate Newby - Art Collector

Issue 59, January - March 2012

This profile appeared in the Cool hunter predictions feature, part of the annual special issue 50 Things Collectors Need to Know 2012.

Auckland-based Kate Newby is among the vanguard of New Zealand’s new wave of contemporary artists. She is fast forging her name for a kind of installation art which toys with public and institutional space and which seeks, through the poetics of the casual and everyday, to challenge and ultimately enliven our perceptual frames of reference. A Masters graduate of the Elam School of Fine Art who only gained commercial representation in 2009, Newby’s site-specific canvas grows wider by the day. To date her installations have intervened in (and outside) gallery spaces and other venues in New Zealand, Australia, Brussels, the United States, Mexico, Germany and Canada.

In February, Newby heads to New York for four months as part of the International Studio & Curatorial Program, a residency awarded biennially by Creative New Zealand. She joins an impressive list of past awardees including Ronnie van Hout, Gavin Hipkins, Sriwhana Spong and Judy Millar. Newby looks forward to the residency as a chance to “extend the physical and cultural boundaries of where and how I create work”. She will create new site-based works and a publication as part of a new project titled Stones don’t swim and cars collide.

Last year, Newby was given hometown honours as the first commissioned artist for the newly built wing of the Auckland Art Gallery. Newby’s I’m just like a pile of leaves, a permanent outdoor installation on the building’s north terrace made with concrete, cinder block, oxide and rope, is a bold creative statement. In endorsing a rising young talent such as Newby, the gallery salutes its creative future.

Maurice O’Riordan

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