AI3_6_2018_2_24_44_PM_MI.jpg

Katharine Grosse's 'The horse trotted a few metres, then it stopped', at Carriageworks:The architectural painting comes to life while impressing with its vibrancy and sheer magnitude.

Katharina`s `ALL THE WORLD’S FUTURES`

To close the gap between the acts of making and thinking, between the tools she uses and her thoughts, Katharina Grosse resorted to painting.

A glimpse through the main entrance

Carriageworks is housed in the old Eveleigh Rail Yards at Wilson Street, located within the emerging Redfern Waterloo precinct.

The horse trotted a few metres, then it stopped

“For me, looking at the world has always been connected to doing something in it, on it, or with it at the same time.”

Stepping into a painting

Using the contrast of soft fabric across the cold amalgamation of concrete, iron and stone, she explored the concept of redefining the relationship of ‘wall’ and ‘floor’.

The idea of shrinking a space

Her idea lay in shrinking, or ‘folding’ the large structure by creating her own surfaces.

8000 square metres of fabric

To Katharina, the spray gun eases her approach to multidimensional surfaces, aiding her to amplify her reach and accelerate her movements, encompassing more spaces and shrinking distances.

AI3_6_2018_2_24_44_PM_MI.jpg
Showcase 06 Mar 2018

Sensory Experiences: Ditching brushes, canvases and screens, Katharina Grosse takes painting to a whole different experience, dimension and scale

Art on its own is an ambiguous word, one with an indeterminate range and open ended seams. Much of art is composed of what meets and excites our senses – sometimes subtle, sometimes loud. At the threshold of the built environment and the natural environment is where German artist Katharina Grosse’s art resides. Like many of her works, ‘The horse trotted another couple of metres, then it stopped’ can be described as an architectural painting. A painting on a space, as an extension of the space. CQ finds out how.

Born in 1961 in Freiburg, Katharina Grosse eventually moved to and started working in Berlin. To close the gap between the acts of making and thinking, and between the tools she uses and her thoughts, Katharina Grosse resorted to painting. “For me, looking at the world has always been connected to doing something in it, on it, or with it at the same time,” she says explaining the idea behind her paintings that are not just limited to homogeneous, 2 dimensional surfaces. 

Katharina`s `ALL THE WORLD’S FUTURES`

To close the gap between the acts of making and thinking, between the tools she uses and her thoughts, Katharina Grosse resorted to painting.

The idea of shrinking a space

Carriageworks, the largest contemporary multi-arts centre in Australia, is Katharina’s stage in itself. Carriageworks is housed in the old Eveleigh Rail Yards at Wilson Street, located within the emerging Redfern Waterloo precinct, and has been developed by the NSW (New South Wales) State Government through Arts NSW. The distinctive 19th century industrial atmosphere of this former railway carriage and blacksmith workshops have been retained, with many heritage iron and brick details featured in the regeneration of the building. 

Katharine Grosse's 'The horse trotted a few metres, then it stopped', at Carriageworks:The architectural painting comes to life while impressing with its vibrancy and sheer magnitude.

A glimpse through the main entrance

Carriageworks is housed in the old Eveleigh Rail Yards at Wilson Street, located within the emerging Redfern Waterloo precinct.

“Using 8000 sq.m. of cloth, draped and knotted in direct response to the inherent architecture of Carriageworks, she sewed the iron cast structure into her painting.”

For this particular artwork, Katharina was excited by the idea of staging a painting using this renowned, massive stage as her setup. Her idea lay in shrinking, or ‘folding’ the large structure by creating her own surfaces. Using the contrast of soft fabric across the cold amalgamation of concrete, iron and stone, she explored the concept of redefining the relationship of the ‘wall’ and ‘floor’. 

The idea of shrinking a space

Her idea lay in shrinking, or ‘folding’ the large structure by creating her own surfaces.

Using 8000 sq.m. of cloth, draped and knotted in direct response to the inherent architecture of Carriageworks, she sewed the iron cast structure into her painting. And it didn’t stop there! Bound by months of rigging points, sewing marathons and knotting, Katharina was largely intuitive in the final act of the project: the painting. 

The horse trotted a few metres, then it stopped

“For me, looking at the world has always been connected to doing something in it, on it, or with it at the same time.”

Choosing from a palette of over 50 different colours she brought along; at the site, in response to her imagination of what the space could contain, she divinated her way through finding the right hues and tones. Sometimes having painted over 10 times on some segments, while some lay bare, the entire ensemble took her a period of 10 days to complete.

“I like to get in direct contact with the surface. With the spray gun, it is in the air, off the surface, loose. It shoots paint through the air with air like a 3D paint machine body wired to my brain.”

Katharina’s chosen medium of expression

Since the late 1990s, her equipment set boasts of more industrial spray guns, rough household bristle brushes and rollers than paint brushes. “I like to get in direct contact with the surface. With the spray gun, it is in the air, off the surface, loose. It shoots paint through the air with air like a 3D paint machine body wired to my brain”, she elaborated.  

To Katharina, the spray gun eases her approach to multidimensional surfaces, aiding her to amplify her reach and accelerate her movements, encompassing more spaces and shrinking distances. 

8000 square metres of fabric

To Katharina, the spray gun eases her approach to multidimensional surfaces, aiding her to amplify her reach and accelerate her movements, encompassing more spaces and shrinking distances.

The horse trotted a few metres, then it stopped

Albeit the phrase itself didn’t mean anything, Katharina Grosse uses it to convey the atmosphere of the moment when we stop our ritualistic, rhythmic lives, it opens up our vision to things unseen before, leading us to experience another meaning of our lives. Finding the phrase, while flicking through a book, she felt it resonated with the kind of narrative, humour and absurdness the work aims to encapsulate. 

Stepping into a painting

Using the contrast of soft fabric across the cold amalgamation of concrete, iron and stone, she explored the concept of redefining the relationship of ‘wall’ and ‘floor’.

Katharina defines her work as unfinished and open so that it can flow  into another work more fluidly, tying itself to another chapter of her journey. “When you work, you find new things you didn’t understand, that can’t all be answered in that piece,” she describes. In awe of the unique scale and dimension of her ‘paintings’, we wait patiently for the next installation.

If you’re in or travelling to Australia, do experience ‘The horse trotted a few metres, then it stopped’ for yourself at the Carriageworks, or check out mork of her work online here.