“ The world we live in today is full of fear and anger. Rather than add to it, I want to create works which balance that out. I want people to look at my paintings and feel up-lifted; to feel a sense of joy. I also want people viewing my paintings to feel connected to life in rural Australia in a positive way. ”
After a 20 year period in the Queensland ‘outback’, in 2015, Kathy moved back to North East Victoria to settle on 1000 acres in the Greta Valley, farming beef cattle. She set up a studio in the farm’s original tobacco kiln.
“A space I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams”.
With the family farm located across the valley from the old Kelly family selection, and surrounded by a country that bushranger Ned Kelly knew like the back of his hand, the move saw Kathy adding the landscapes of ‘Kelly country’ to her creative output.
Once settled on the new farm, Kathy began pursuing scenes of ‘heavy horses’ at work.
“These animals have become my muse because they are emblematic of rural life. I paint them to reflect on the values of hard work, and steady, calm strength, which ultimately draught horses symbolise for me”.
In 2018, Kathy opened her own art gallery and workshop space, Kathy Ellem Fine Art, in the historic gold rush town of Beechworth.