Cat Fooks


When I encounter new pieces by Cat Fooks (Aotearoa, 1976), the words that occur to me tend to relate to energy, freshness, and immediacy. Drenched in colour, her madcap assemblages and wall works arrest the eye. They pulse with a panoply of different paints: now waxy-flat, now powdery as pollen smudged on a sleeve, now glossy like melted ice-cream, now puckering like the same ice-cream left to congeal on a hot footpath.

But Fooks’ practice is also, paradoxically, a slow burn. Her works are seldom quickly turned out, instead developing gradually. Something of this is evident in their complex layers and patterns, which declare themselves products of tinkering, as much as fast and furious experimentation. Although she is a relatively recent addition to the dealer gallery scene in Tāmaki Makaurau, Fooks is no newbie. She has been painting since the late 1990s. Years of concerted making lie behind her pieces, and they reward sustained attention. (Frances McWhannell, Pantograph Punch, 2019)

Courtesy of Anna Miles Gallery.