Kathrin Longhurst

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Kathrin Longhurst


Kathrin Longhurst's high-realist, figurative painting practice intentionally transforms difficult encounters of oppression and adversity into powerful and positive messages of hope and change. Having grown up in former communist East Germany, Longhurst's family escaped to Sweden when she was 15. The experience of this displacement, compounded by the jarring contrast between living within a totalitarian regime and that of a Western capitalist democracy was the spark that ignited Longhurst's enduring commitment to issues of social justice and freedom of speech.

Having travelled extensively throughout Europe and Asia before finally settling in Australia, Longhurst possesses a unique understanding of human rights issues, the role of women and girls in society, as well as a keen awareness of the seductive power of advertising and the media.  Her skilfully rendered images of women in states of defiant self-awareness layer themes of sexuality, propaganda and body image stereotypes to deconstruct and reassess the mechanisms at play within a given society. ‘Propaganda is all around us.  It’s not specific to a period of time, a country or a regime…it’s everywhere’. This ingrained knowledge of political conditioning overtly operates within much of Longhurst's visual language and is the driving force behind her passion to use art to question, challenge and reinvent the ethics and values of today's contemporary culture.

A well-respected member of the Sydney arts community, Kathrin served as vice president for Portrait Artists Australia for some years and was the founder and director of the innovative Project 504. She completed her 20th solo show in 2022 and has been a finalist in numerous awards including the Archibald Prize, the Darling Prize at the National Portrait Gallery, the Doug Moran Prize, the Sulman Prize, the Percival Portrait Award, the Mosman Art Prize, the Portia Geach Award, the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Prize and the WA Black Swan Prize. She won the 2021 Archibald Packing Room Prize. Her work is collected widely in Australia and internationally.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 16th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.