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Informed by a combination of painting theory, architecture and engineering, Kathryn Stevens' work explores the twin painterly ideals of depth and palette. Stevens' work investigates the representation of depth through an implied three-dimensional structure on a two-dimensional plane. Her paintings also explore the effect of variation in the tonal range of a colour on the structure present on the canvas. The result is work that emits a rhythmic, quasi-electric energy, underpinned by a sense of mathematical precision.
Inspired in part by the immediacy of architectural and urban spaces in the modern environment and the interaction between surface and structure in modern glass-and-steel construction, Stevens' earlier works explored the limits of three-dimensional space with rectilinear division. With the introduction of curved line and the use of tonal blocks of colour to suggest depth and to further energise the composition, Stevens' later works warp this limited space and lend fluidity to her expression of three-dimensional structure.
As Stevens explained of the works in her 2008 show,Viewfinder: "the now more dominant foreground grid gives them more clarity, emphasising the act of looking. The interface between viewer and painting is more evident: we are looking from areal space into a possible one."
Stevens was a finalist in the 2006 Wallace Art Awards and tutors in painting at Auckland's Art station, mentoring students alongside fellow artist Matthew Browne in the year-long 'Painter's Studio' course.