Take a Peak: Kathryn Neun

Coastal wilderness inspires Powell River image maker

Wild nature is the greatest stimulus for two-dimensional image-maker Kathryn Neun. Much of her work is collagraph, a type of print created by collaging a variety of materials directly onto the printing plate. She studied sculpture and performance at York University and the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and went on to study printmaking at Ontario College of Art. This sparked her interest in drawing.

Neun continued to work in printmaking at Mahone Bay Printmakers in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, and Malaspina Printmakers in Vancouver. Until June 30, Neun’s work, along with fellow Powell River-based artist Giovanni Spezzacatena, is on display at the Doris Crowston Gallery in Sechelt as part of All That We Are, an exhibition in celebration of Pride month. The show features the works of six LGBTQ2+ artists who live and work on the Sunshine Coast.

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Describe your art.
The graphic work is two-dimensional in the medium of ink, watercolour and natural infusions on paper: painting, drawing and prints.

How did you first get into it?
As a child drawing, painting and making sculpture, I realized creating was an earthlike connection. Now  I see a parallel in solitude and creative engagement.

Who or what inspired you as an artist?
Artists creating sculpture as well as paintings such as Alberto Giacometti and 20th century Minimalism.

What is your background or training as an artist?
Music was an important influence in my youth and gave me proof of substantial beauty. I studied fine arts, sculpture and performance at York University, Banff Centreand printmaking at Ontario College of Art. I experimented with papermaking, making oil paints and inks. Currently I limit my palette working mostly with Chinese and Sumi-e inks and organic dyes.

How do you create your art?
My references are live form; images from my realm of experience or understanding. Nature is the greatest stimulus. I regularly sketch or study by drawing. The images often represent a relational value, as language denotes meaning. The ink paintings phrase open narrative observed in wild nature. Through that communication one is given insight and perhaps vision.

What else do you do for fun or work?
I love walking, biking, reading and film.

Where can people find your art?
I am one of six queer artists exhibiting in Sechelt at the Sunshine Coast Art Centre until June 30. Giovanni Spezzacetana from Powell River is a participant also. My intaglio and collagraph prints are consigned with Malaspina Printmaking Studio on Granville Island, Vancouver. Email kathrynneun@yahoo.ca.


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