17 March – 10 April 1999

Kathy Temin’s exhibition Felt Habitat continues the artist’s long-held interest in architecture and living environments. The work has used objects and colours that have an association with memory. Now the artist is wanting to use a combination of high design and the everyday, with references to the styles of the 1960s and 1970s, when furniture was made for comfort and was strongly connected to the human body.

Felt Habitat consists of frieze-like felt works depicting interiors devoid of humans, where the furniture becomes a substitute for people and the interior space becomes a psychological space. Part of this psychology is contemporary culture’s fetishising of objects that has become a language in itself, with magazines such as Elle Decor and wallpaper* where there is as worship of material culture. The childhood game of fuzzy felt, with its nostalgic and feminine overtones, is combined with the image of the dollhouse. Toys allowed children, and especially girls, to create their own dream environments in preparation for adulthood and marriage. The works combine the repetition associated with commercially mass-produced designer furniture with the games making the work modular in their flexibility. The objects in space shift from image to image, making up different rooms and different meanings. By reworking Eames’s house of cards into life-size and incorporating photographic images of her own collections and interiors, Temin creates personalised templates for her own version of mix-and-match.

Kathy Temin studied at the Prahran College, Melbourne and did a Masters at the Victorian Collegeof the Arts, before doing postgraduate research at Goldsmiths College in London. She had an Australia Council residency at P.S.1, New York. Temin has shown throughout Australia, Europe, America and Asia, and her work is held in most of Australia’s major collections. She is the winner of the 1999 Moët and Chandon Art Award. 

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