DTLA LIFE MAG #28 | SUMMER 2016 - Page 80

Cybele Rowe and Kaye Freeman have been acquainted since 1985. They know each other as artistic peers and friends, first in Australia where Rowe hails from and where Freeman moved to at the age of nineteen. They rekindled their friendship during a visit by Freeman in 2014 to Rowe’s California atelier. The Love Armada collaboration began as an experiment – Rowe invited Freeman to paint the surfaces of some of her new work, wondering whether there were ways to push the boundary of the surface finishes on new, large-scale sculptures she had just completed. When Freeman began to cover the surfaces with paint, they both knew – immediatel y, and with force – that their collaboration was an invitation to a new level of artistic work, and to new ways of being as artists and beyond. Born in Hong Kong, raised in Tokyo, the child of British ex-patriots with eyes beyond the horizon, Kaye Freeman is truly an international artist. Based, at the moment, in the wilds of Victoria, Australia, Freeman’s abstract paintings are simple visual arrangements of vibrant colors, contrasting shapes and bold composition. Her work is described as “...an audacious realization of color, line, form, and philosophy”. Her mother, an architectural artist, brought her small, elfin daughter to countless Buddhist Temples in Tokyo, and the beauty, depth and visual excitement of these places ignited Freeman’s artistic process. Today, Kaye Freeman draws her inspiration from her travels through Japan, Mexico, Hong Kong, Britain, and the US. Freeman’s abstract drawings in paint are rooted in a lifetime study of natural form, and in a set of technical skills, developed at art school and honed to a keen edge while painting for theater and film. The sheer scale, palpable energy, and sensuality of her recent work challenge and conjures with the line, color, and shape, plumbing the viewers subconscious for organic forms, making the images ever more familiar, exuberant and affirming. Among Kaye Freeman’s many awards and plaudits is the prestigious SHE award from the Walker St. Gallery of Melbourne. In presenting the award for Freeman’s portrait depicting her mother’s end-of-life struggle, juror Angel Lange stated, “Kaye Freeman has given an incredibly moving and personal work. The piece stimulates conversation about an often muted but ex- Photos NATALIA KNEZEVIC