Working primarily in printmaking, young Polish-Australian artist Kate Piekutowski uses etching to explore Polish diasporic experience through the visual. Interested in notions of homeland, place and belonging, her intricate, multi-tonal works on paper convey a layered historiography of sorts, one which recounts the cultural experiences of expatriation, homelessness and transnationalism. Says the artist, “Belonging is a term that can be employed infinitely. As a first-generation child of Polish migrants, I constantly question, what does it mean to belong?” Piekutowski’s expressive use of tonality, spot color and aggressive shading makes these graphic etchings on paper a subtle merging of past and present, memory and identity, culture and subject. Narrative in fragments and often incorporating female figuration, the works speak to socio-cultural hybridity and reconstructed identity in a fashion referencing nineteenth century Romanticism and the Soviet émigré artists.
Kate Piekutowski currently lives and works in Hobart, Tasmania, where she was born. She obtained her BFA in Fine Arts from the University of Tasmania and recently completed an MFA in printmaking.