From her very first childhood forays into photography and sketching, Katherine was motivated by a passion for capturing Australian birdlife in its environment. Many happy hours were spent in the bush chasing those magical moments when the bird she sought was finally found.
Katherine’s family home on the outskirts of Sydney seemed to the young Katherine to be an Australian iteration of Dr Doolittle’s wondrous menagerie and a resort come recovery centre for local injured wildlife. Awakening to the happy glint in the eye of a wallaby joey or baby wombat keen for its morning feed was not an unusual early morning encounter in Katherine’s childhood.
It was Katherine’s Grandparents who noticed the artist dwelling in her. Her loving Grandmother, a painter, guided her through the cornucopia of techniques, subjects andhistorical movements on display in Sydney’s rich art scene, while her Grandfather fostered her love of photography.
This cultivated a deep admiration for the styles of great Australian artists such as Raymond Harris Ching, William T. Cooper and the Australian impressionists. She was most taken with their skill to communicate the observations of the subject with a commitment to verity of line and form yet without being pulled into a realism that masks the essence of the encounter of artist with wildlife.
After completing her Design and Photography qualifications Katherine soon found herself gravitating towards painting as a way to express the empyreal essence of the birdlife she loved and that her camera could not quite catch. She started in watercolours and moved to oils. Her works in watercolour and oils was noticed by galleries, and with that commissions soon followed.
In 2009, Homeware company, Maxwell & Williams, with a deserved reputation for supporting the arts, noticed Katherine’s potential and commissioned a series of bird paintings to adorn a fine china collection being created for the global market. This initial commission led to many more similar commissions, leading (to date) to over a hundred of her original paintings being reproduced and sold worldwide. There are now several million reproductions of Katherine Castle’s works “in private hands” around the world. The thought of people meditating, pausing if only for a moment, to wonder at the renderings of an Australian bird adorning the mug which holds the morning’s brew, brings Katherine a delighted sense of pride and purpose.
After a wonderful three year odyssey around Australia with her partner, Katherine has settled in Northern NSW. Here she spends as much time as she can spare working to regenerate ten acres of rainforest on a little headwater of the Tweed that is now her home and studio.
There are far too many feathered treasures that teeter on the brink of extinction. It will continue to be a cornerstone of her art practice to impress upon the viewer the diversity, beauty, and fragility of the birdlife she adores.
Bring colours of birdsong,
of wings caressing sky,
a boundless canvas upon which the brush alights.