Caroline Kha is a relatively new artist in the Debut Contemporary scheme, and this week’s Spotlight artist! She studied Fine Arts in Sydney, Australia and got awarded a residency at London’s Florence Art Trust in 2009. The latest new and exciting fact is that she will be part of the Royal Academy’s Summer Show. Congratulations Caroline!
Bokeh Series: Atlas
Caroline’s work explores ideas about cultural memory, place and identity. Her paintings and collages examine romanticisation of travel and cultures. She is interested in the relationship and dialogue between traditional oil painting techniques and photography. Kha’s paintings are emotive and evocative of familiar places. Her collages are multi-layered with images of idyllic places and cultures subtly juxtaposed to create new meaning.
At Debut Contemporary we love to travel as well, but whenever that is not possible it is great to explore the idea of travel with Caroline’s work. We currently have some of her works on view inside the gallery, so feel free to drop by and have a look.
A Hiker through Tuscany. Image courtesy of dalla Rosa Gallery.
To get to know Caroline a bit better, we asked her some questions:
Travel is an important theme in your work. Do you travel a lot yourself?
I would like to travel more but at the same time I know there is already a lot to do and experience where I am now. In my art practice I’m very interested in images of places and how they can resonate with us.
Having travelled from Sydney to London, what are the big differences you experience?
The beaches in Sydney are second to none. I miss the sea and that feeling comes into my paintings sometimes.
For me, what I love most about London is the access to important art collections. The National Gallery is one of my favourite places to go to. For me it’s a wonderful opportunity to see and learn from old master works that previously I have only experienced through images in books. I think as a painter, being able to visit these paintings on a regular basis is invaluable and I always learn something new with each visit.
What was your most memorable journey?
Traveling through Switzerland on the train from Zurich to Chur.
What is your favourite YouTube link?
I have a couple:
How are you enjoying the Debut Contemporary scheme so far?
They’ve been very encouraging and supportive. The mentorship programme has been useful in getting me to think about ways to realise my artistic goals and challenging me to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’m looking forward to participating in some of the projects and events planned for the summer.
What are your ambitions for the coming years?
In the next couple years I would like to have the space and resources here in London to make large scale works that I envisage. In particular, I would like to work with the collections at the National Gallery and the British Museum for a particular project I have in mind.
Is there anything you regret?
Sure, but I try not to dwell on them for too long. When something doesn’t go to plan I try to remind myself of a quote from Joseph Campbell: “Where you stumble and fall, there you will find gold.” I think mistakes are part of the learning process and an opportunity to do things better next time.
Do you have an interesting fact to share with us?
I’m a bit of a foodie and I specialise in making macarons.