COMA is pleased to present an online viewing room of a singular significant artwork by Kate Bohunnis – the artist’s first presentation with the gallery – titled an active accumulation (1300 meters), after an important piece created in 2020.
an active accumulation (1300 meters) focuses on functional and non-functional systems and how these systems can be positively reconsidered. While the artist was researching latex as a material and if sewing thread through it was feasible, all information suggested that it was not possible to do so without sacrificing the structural integrity of the material. Here Bohunnis attemped to discover that if a tight network of stitches was created would the constitution be altered and would it allow for the creation of a new structural system in the fabric. The artist discovered that although the fabric now does not stretch where it was sewn, it does take on a new durability and strength due to the supportive network of the stitch, made from 1300 meters of cotton thread. an active accumulation (1300 meters) asks the viewer to question other non-functional systems within society (gender etc) or ideas of self and identity construction and how they can be pushed into positive action.
… the system that I considered to be non-functional in this instance is the dated stereotypes of gender identity and performance within medium and trade. The way that I explore queerness in my work is in the relationship between materials, such as the integration of soft and hard and their associations. And then subverting these associations by inverting their structural integrity or dominance, whilst often introducing new materials broadly associated with kink wear and play.– from the artist notes
Sometimes this anthropomorphism is found in a gesture or a collapse, determined by the environment they are situated in. Demonstrating the confines of the room, and then more broadly, the society in which we live.– from the interview by Hannah Jenkins, Co-Director, Firstdraft. 2020
Social and political forces demand wellness and self-optimization in the pursuit of productivity, but the pursuit of bodily and psychological pleasures—including our capacity for destruction—asserts one’s human eccentricity. Bohunnis presents the contradiction of embodiment in a compression of space and time, as a site of transgression and possibility.
– Jessica Alice, poet, critic and artistic director
Kate Bohunnis is an artist based in Adelaide/ Kaurna Yarta. Working in metal fabrication, mould making, textiles, print and sound; her installations focus on connecting the limits within and between material experimentation and analogous psychological states, structures and behaviours, our relationship to identity, gender and the queer perspective. This material performativity is either enacted on its own, or posturing and interacting with another to create a new structural system or tenuous imbalance. Bohunnis states that it is within this liminal space, moving towards and against a threshold, that we can find correspondence to our own psychological network of supportive and destructive systems.
Bohunnis is a graduate from Flinders University with First Class Honours. She has been awarded the Eran Svigos Award for Best Visual Art, David Hayden Professional Development Award, Watson Award, Arts Excellence in Printmaking Award and has completed national and international arts residencies. Bohunnis has exhibited at ACE Open, Firstdraft, BLINDSIDE, Praxis ARTSPACE, FELTspace, Sister Gallery, Holy Rollers, PICA and various group exhibitions throughout South Australia.