Self-portrait as someone of note was inspired by the Arctic explorer Douglas Mawson’s balaclava. An unusual multi-coloured, 7×7 stitch configuration, it is theorised that his wife, Paquita designed the balaclava to be imbued with luck. This tale spoke to me, not only of love and superstition, but of the unseen contributions of women throughout history. I asked my greatest female influence, my mother, to knit me a similarly auspicious replica for my imagined voyage into the unknown. The 49 blanket stitched holes around the panel reference traditional modes of female labour, while my pose attempts to portray myself as “someone of note”. Grappling with notions of achievement and legacy, the work is both a portrait of my mother and myself.
Kate Kurucz is a South Australian painter who graduated from the Adelaide Central School of Art in 2012. Informed by the materiality and history of oil painting, her work explores absurdity, identity and the sublime.
Kurucz has exhibited at the Art Gallery of South Australia as a recipient of the Guildhouse Collections Project. In 2019, she presented her solo show The Inland Sea at praxis ARTSPACE and won the Royal South Australian Society of Arts Portrait Prize.
Medium: Oil on copper with rope
Size: 90 cm x 60 cm