Submission
Kate Bohunnis

house that heaves

COMA is pleased to present a solo presentation, titled ‘house that heaves’, by Adelaide-based artist Kate Bohunnis, on view 29 January – 26 February, 2022 in the gallery. The exhibition is supported by The Government of South Australia through Arts South Australia.


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Kate Bohunnis: house that heaves, installation view, COMA, Sydney, 2022
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Kate Bohunnis: house that heaves, installation view, COMA, Sydney, 2022
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Kate Bohunnis: house that heaves, installation view, COMA, Sydney, 2022
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Kate Bohunnis: house that heaves, installation view, COMA, Sydney, 2022
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Kate Bohunnis: house that heaves, installation view, COMA, Sydney, 2022
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Kate Bohunnis: house that heaves, installation view, COMA, Sydney, 2022
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Kate Bohunnis: house that heaves, installation view, COMA, Sydney, 2022
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Kate Bohunnis: house that heaves, installation view, COMA, Sydney, 2022
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Kate Bohunnis: house that heaves, installation view, COMA, Sydney, 2022
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Kate Bohunnis, a healthy distance (part 1), 2021-2022, stainless steel, faux fur, beads, faux pearls rope, cotton, 153 x 326 x 153 cm / 60 3/8 x 128 5/16 x 60 3/8 inches
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Kate Bohunnis a healthy distance (part 2), 2021-2022 stainless steel, faux fur, beads, faux pearls rope, cotton 147 x 220 x 156 cm / 57 7/8 x 86 5/8 x 61 7/16 inches
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Kate Bohunnis house that heaves (1), 2021-2022 stainless steel, faux fur, cotton, polyester, faux pearls, faux feathers, rope 160 x 210 x 16 cm / 63 x 82 11/16 x 6 5/16 inches
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Kate Bohunnis house that heaves (2), 2021-2022 stainless steel, faux fur, velvet, beads, faux pearls, rope 212 x 137 x 16 cm / 83 7/16 x 53 15/16 x 6 5/16 inches
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Kate Bohunnis house that heaves (3), 2021-2022 stainless steel, pvc vinyl fabric, faux fur, faux beads, cotton 153 x 153 x 16 cm / 60 3/8 x 60 3/8 x 6 5/16 inches
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Kate Bohunnis a healthy distance (part 1), 2021-2022 stainless steel, faux fur, beads, faux pearls rope, cotton 153 x 326 x 153 cm / 60 3/8 x 128 5/16 x 60 3/8 inches
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Kate Bohunnis house that heaves (2), 2021-2022 stainless steel, faux fur, velvet, beads, faux pearls, rope 212 x 137 x 16 cm / 83 7/16 x 53 15/16 x 6 5/16 inches

Structurally speaking, ‘heave’ occurs when a building starts to rise above its original foundation due to underlying environmental disturbance. Rot begins at the core and then slowly spreads to the floor, walls and, finally, the ceiling. Left untreated, there is a risk of complete collapse.

Kate Bohunnis’ latest exhibition, house that heaves, brings together new sculptural work that continues the artist’s exploration of what it means to create forms that combine and contrast metal and textiles. Bohunnis is interested in subverting our expectations of what the materials she works with can do and be. She is equally keen to challenge ideas of gendered labor and skill personally encountered in both steel manufacture and sewing crafts. Like a house that heaves, Bohunnis splits open the predetermined binaries laden within the materials she works with.

The exhibition features wall hangings and free-standing forms which juxtapose softness and fluidity with ideas of dominance, penetration, containment and division. Stainless steel serves as a framework for fluffy and sleek fabrics. The tubing has been purposefully over-rolled so that they buckle, minimising their strength. Hyper-feminine and luxurious fabrics have been patch worked together. Glistening and pearled in their dowdy opulence, these puffy forms have been pierced by the steel in a final effort to reduce and restrain.