about the artist
Award-winning international artist Kimberley Kohan is a Canadian-born Australian citizen who lives and exhibits in both countries (over 15 exhibitions in Australia and 9 in North America). Much of her art is inspired by the rugged Kimberley region of northwestern Australia. More recently, she has found inspiration from her travels through British Columbia, the Yukon and Alaska.
Kohan’s artwork has been described as ‘Contemporary Realism’. A master of oil paint, gouache and pastel, her artwork is a celebration of colour and the rich tapestries found in nature.
My inspiration is the untamed earth. Throughout the years, I have travelled extensively from the blistering, red reaches of Australia to wildest and iciest corners of the Pacific Northwest.
Because I gather so much subject matter during my travels to remote locations, I almost never sketch or paint on-site. Instead, I rely on my trusty DSLR camera to capture photographs which ignite my creativity. While this affords me the chance to capture a greater quantity of images than sketching or location-painting alone, it also creates an added challenge: I must be a photographer as well as a painter, adjusting my shutter speed, white balance and aperture to best capture any given moment, so that I might bring that perfect instance back to my studio for interpretation.
From the thousands of photos I take, a precious dozen or so are shortlisted to paint. While I am partial to nature scenes, it is most often an unusual angle, contrast, colour or texture that elevates a given image to one of the ‘chosen few.’
When I paint, my aim is not to directly copy the photographs I have taken, but to translate them from one visual language to another. My best works are those which become tangible, tactile; they transport the viewer. My ultimate goal is that one might not simply ‘see’ a painting, but hear, smell, taste and feel a place or a moment in time.
Throughout my travels, one common thread rings true: the more I see, the more I appreciate the importance of conservation. Because my process involves taking the time to truly get to know a region- its history, its people, its eco-system- I have come to appreciate that these wild respites, which seem so far from city life, are not as removed as we think, and they are vanishing faster than we can possibly imagine.
Nadeen Lovell, Lovell Gallery, West Australia, Australia
“As a gallerist (and painter), running a large, private gallery in the renowned Kimberley region of Western Australia, Kimberley Kohan was my number one artist (after myself). During a period of sixteen years I managed many artists, producing both 2D and 3D works of high quality. Kimberley’s work was always among the most popular with patrons.
Her use of colour, ability to work both traditionally and in a more streamlined style, as well as her interest in diverse subject matters, appealed to many of our visitors.
These viewers came from all over Australia and overseas and those who met Kimberley (yes, her birth name) in the Kimberley, were delighted to find the artist a colourful and articulate personality. This of course added to her well-deserved, high sales record.”