Posted by: XL Results Foundation | December 11, 2007

Painting trees for Peace

Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox hopes her depictions of the ‘Tree of Life’ will contribute to conversations about world peace.

Kathryn Brinblecombe-Fox

Brisbane artist Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox is a full-time artist whose tree portrayals resonate with people around the world as a visceral trans-cultural, trans-religious symbol of life — and trees are inextricably woven into her colourful paintings. The tree appears as landscape, as thoughts, as love, and it creates many perspectives. It also stimulates a wide range of potential interpretations regarding the meaning of her paintings.

“I have focused on investigating the power in the ‘tree of life’ motif,” she says, “which is its potential to reveal shared spirit — and in my own experience, that opens meaningful dialogue which otherwise may not occur,” Kathryn explains. She recently sold four of her large works in Korea, and believes that her depictions of the ‘tree of life’ were the paintings’ primary attractions. “I suppose anyone with any kind of spiritual background picks up on it,” she says.

An artist who has painted since she was a child, she has exhibited regularly overseas: in London (2002), NewYork and Abu Dhabi (2004), Dubai (2004 and 2005) and Seoul (2007). Kathryn’s latest exhibition in Brisbane is entitled ‘Prayers for the Planet: We Are All the Same,’ a title which reveals something of the thoughts and beliefs inherent in her painting process. She thinks deeply when painting, and what emerges on the canvas is an expression of her personal take on life, which is both philosophical and spiritual. “Art elicits conversation and people bring their own stories to my work. They tell me how it makes them feel and what it reminds them of.”

Extra Art Painting

“I get really excited when my paintings are catalysts for different types of conversation and stimulating dialogue between people from all over the world,” Kathryn continues. “I have experienced this in the Middle East with people from all over the region, Africa and Eastern Europe. I know that peace on Earth is possible, and believe art has a part to play.”

Kathryn has chosen to give 9% of her exhibition sales to the international relief and development agency War Child Australia on behalf of children affected by war. “I hope my contribution will give children affected by war some experience of peace,” she tells us.





  1. Hi XL,

    I am thrilled the article has been posted. I was equally thrilled to see it in the XL Extra magazine. So, thank you.

    I am very passionate about the potential conversations about art can have on the road to Peace Building. Peace is not just the absence of war…it is also about the presence of many things including respect, love, joy and an acknowledgement that the similarities between people are as equally interesting and important as the differences. Healthy debate is also a positive.

    One of the comments made to me by a number of people who visited my exhibition in Abu Dhabi was their wish that there was a focus on the similarities between people rather than differences. These similarites are those things which make us human ie: the commonly shared signs of life…heart beat, breath, need for identity. This is what my art seems to speak about through the tree-of-life motif, my imaginings about cellular memory, life’s energy forces etc. There are many artists who share this interest and protray their thoughts and imaginings in their own way.

    However, on the broader scale there are questions about the role art has in life. Is it affective or merely reflective…or can it be both? Intimate conversations are different to recounts of personal stories…can art trigger an intimacy between people without overt agenda driving the focus? I think it can and this is where the potential is.

    I have rambled enough.

  2. Kathryn’s art is now consistently producing big beautiful powerful mature statements. These works are complex sophisticated subtle symphony’s in paint which are guaranteed to produce pleasure in the viewer. As Fine Art investments they will repay the owners & Gallery’s for many years. Arthur Beau Palmer

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