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Be­neath the sur­face

Cat Fooks’ art­works swing be­tween twoand three-di­men­sion­al­ity, struc­ture and un­ruli­ness, colour har­mony and ri­otous dis­cord. She com­bines un­usual sub­strates with oil paint in both liq­uid and stiff im­pasto form to cre­ate highly tex­tured sur­faces that in­vite touch. In her One­hunga stu­dio, Fooks ex­plodes and re­con­fig­ures her art, can­ni­bal­is­ing and re­pur­pos­ing el­e­ments of pre­vi­ous works. She com­bines these frag­ments with new ma­te­ri­als and tex­tures in­clud­ing house­hold and stu­dio ephemera, and then en­cap­su­lates them in thick, syrupy paint. De­tails of the un­der­ly­ing ob­jects are ei­ther cam­ou­flaged or picked out. They be­come en­crypted, ly­ing sphinx-like be­neath the paint skin. The fin­ished works achieve spon­tane­ity and ir­rev­er­ence with swathes of colour, strange bulges and nim­bly pat­terned sur­faces. Ti­tles like Elvis or Amulet hint at an im­age; oth­ers – Nig­gle, Chutz­pah, Boo

– are ob­sti­nately ab­stract. Kate Mullins

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