Karlee Rawkins’ poignant imagery of wildlife and flora examines the symbolic and totemic meanings nature holds within the human psyche. Emphasizing the beauty and vulnerability of her subjects, Rawkins is attracted to the ways in which pattern and line intersect with form and colour. Skillfully integrating representation with subtle abstraction, her confident and joyful use of colour, line and form is interwoven with patterns reminiscent of vintage prints and fabric design.
Dividing her work into various locations such as the meadow, the aviary, the forest, and the orchard, her current show at Flinders Lane Gallery is situated in the domestic garden. Presenting a series of paintings based on edible plants as well as poultry and game birds, her work has a particular emphasis on rare and heirloom species.
Rawkins says of her practice, 'I use animal imagery in my work as a metaphor for human emotions and experiences. The animals are distorted and flattened, often combining with pattern to create intentionally ambiguous compositions. I aim to emphasize the vulnerability and awkwardness of my subject and challenge a viewers recognition and sense of association.'
Rawkins trained at Southern Cross University and has exhibited extensively since 1994. In 2003 she was the recipient of The Brett Whiteley Travelling Scholarship and in 2005 and 2007 was a finalist in the Prometheus Art Award. In 2004 she held a 5 months residency at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France and has travelled widely through North India and South East Asia. Most recently Rawkins has shown at Tweed Regional Gallery, NSW and Anthea Polson Gallery in Queensland.