Reconnecting with Kate Kozul

Kate Kozul, Melbourne-based artist, has evolved since the last time we interviewed her.  Her personal and artistic journey over the past three years have transformed her work and herself in ways she could not imagine. Kozul’s work feels more focused now. Her additional of three-dimensional objects has also added a fun new element to some of her works. Read our interview with Kate below as we discuss her progress, views of art and social media, and the inspiration behind one of my favorite works of hers.

Your work has evolved quite a bit since I last interviewed you three years ago. How would you describe your growth and evolution of style?

The journey of my own evolution has been a roller coaster, I can’t lie, but it has been a very rewarding one! I’ve found new artists that inspire not only my art, but myself as a person – my values and morals – which has definitely shaped who I am today. So much has happened in the last three years that has also shaped my own views about art and myself.

How have your views of art changed?

[I don’t want to] limit myself to one medium or type of ‘style’. Also, [I’ve learned] to allow new changes in my art, be open to embracing new ideas and thoughts in a new way – not just in the default way that I’m used too.

My personal favorite piece of yours is “Friend on a Bed” that you shared last year. I love the collage elements included in it (the plastic fork and images at the top). Can you tell me about the process behind this piece?

Well thank you, that’s very kind. I’ve been planning to do another similar piece, like a part 2, but haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. The painting itself was done during COVID lockdown last year… everybody around me at the time, myself included, were really feeling emotionally and creatively drained. I just wanted to complete something simple and eye-catching at the same time. It’s honestly just a reflection of how I was feeling at that time and it [turned into] a beautiful painting that I’m very proud of.

"Friend on a Bed" by Kate Kozul.

I see that you’ve done other works that include three-dimensional objects glued onto your canvases. What inspired you to include these elements in your work?

I wanted to include 3D objects because I like the way it looks against a smooth, flat surface. It gives the eye something more to look at and it almost adds some sort of reality to the picture which I enjoy. I feel like it can elevate a painting from ‘good’ to something even better.

How do you view social media as an artist? What are the pros and cons in your eyes?

I personally like social media. I like being able to show my works and see how people will respond to particular pieces. You can also connect with so many people through art on social media. It’s crazy how many people you meet and even become close friends with. The one con I will say for me personally is that I struggle to consistently post art. Sometime I post a lot of art and sometimes I don’t. I do feel a little pressure to post every single painting and drawing that I do just to show that [they’re still being made]. But, honestly, with the Covid lockdowns, my creativity quite a lot. I don’t want to rush back into producing works I’m not proud of.

If you could go back three years and give advice to your younger self, what would it be?

The one thing I’d tell myself is to start seeing a therapist and to start taking care of myself mentally in the right ways. Don’t ever turn to substances to help because it never has. All it did was push away unresolved trauma. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – and cry when you need to!


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