Katie Theunissen completed her MFA at Elam, Auckland University, in 2016. She is a practising artist, who also works in the film industry.
Theunissen paints on polyester stretched over an exposed support, with paint and dye layered over the gossamer surface. The effect is light and delicate due to the transparent nature of the materials and soft colour palette. Her paintings don’t settle down: they are neither simply landscapes, nor pure abstractions. They are in flux, moving between representation and abstraction. Although the paintings are easily recognised as landscapes, they resist interpretation as any straightforward representation of place. The solidity of form is undermined by gestural marks, colour and the materiality of the paint. Amidst all this, something recognisable pops out, changing the painting from object to image. There may be more than one horizon, and multiple forms trigger multiple representations. Forms compete, some obscured behind veils, out of view for the moment. Some signs are explicit, while subtle suggestions pull the picture back to its material base. And then, the visible construction of the painting might break the spell of that hypnotizing trance.