Previous Exhibition


Mar 2 – Mar 10, 2023

Resonance is a collection of the latest original fine art prints created by Brisbane-based visual artist Kay Watanabe. The collection is themed around Kay’s interest in environmental issues and her belief that humanity and nature are not separate and that their fates influence each other.

The starting point of the series is Sun-kissed and Forest Dreaming. They were created in 2021 and are the oldest works in the Resonance exhibition. 

Kay made Sun-kissed and Forest Dreaming among many artworks — prints, paintings and cyanotypes — during the Covid-19 global pandemic. Kay regularly spent time in nature in the vacuum created by the pandemic, which wiped away many plans and projects. It was a quiet time for reflection and an anxious time to wonder what would happen in the future to the world, her family, and herself. While the pandemic caused chaos, it also created an opportunity in which Kay could simply walk, sit in nature, and observe and enjoy it without any particular purpose. Kay was lucky to feel a strong connection to nature which she might have forgotten in her busy life before the pandemic.

Kay’s new life during the pandemic also resulted in her inclusion of human figures in her works. Even before the pandemic, Kay had always created works with the theme of the interconnectedness between humans and nature, but her works lacked images of people. During the pandemic, Kay finally managed to sit for life drawing sessions which she always wanted to do. In these drawing sessions, which were held online, Kay was amused to find that human figures and shapes she found in flora and fauna often surprisingly looked alike. In addition, the deaths of her family members during the pandemic may have made Kay think more strongly about humanity than before. Including human figures was not intentional, but it may have helped Kay emphasise the entanglement of humanity and nature. 

Working around the theme of humanity’s strong connection to nature, Kay eventually decided to call the exhibition Resonance. The most recent work in the exhibition, created in February 2023 and entitled Belonging, Kay believes, is, in fact, the beginning of her next body of works. She is thrilled to see her work develop over the next few years.

Working primarily in the field of printmaking, Kay’s artworks in this show were created with various printmaking techniques, such as etching, drypoint, linocut, woodcut, and monotype. She sometimes used these techniques independently and mixed them to get desired effects.  

Not having access to a large etching press during the pandemic due to travel difficulties, Kay hand-printed Sun-kissed and Forest Dreaming using a traditional “baren”, a hand-held printing tool, and a wooden spoon. A few other works in Resonance were hand printed in the same way, but when the etching press was needed, Kay used the press in Impress Printmakers Studio in Brisbane, which she is a member of.