THEATRE OF OPERATIONS
Kat Rae’s work explores how place, memory and experience layer and mesh, and who and what is forgotten after a war. Kat served in the Australian Army for twenty years before deciding to become a full-time artist in 2019. Since then, her work has thrice been recognised in the Napier Waller Art Prize competition and she has exhibited in numerous group shows. She has had her first two solo shows this year.
In 2017 Kat Rae’s abusive husband, a veteran of the Australian Army, died by suicide. Death has a paper trail, particularly when that death is a direct result of the impacts of war. Theatre of Operations explores the imprint of trauma by breaking down and creatively reinstating the personal archive left by her late-husband. Psychoanalyst John Bowlby’s third stage of bereavement, ‘reorganisation’, sees the mourner realise that whilst their old life is changed forever, there can be a positive ‘new normal’. Rae’s work of re-organised matter is an allegory that offers a way to see that all is not lost in the vast ‘shredded-ness’ of the ‘unprint’.
Photos by Alla Kuyunzhi