Kimberley Kohan Artist

Artist Statement

Kimberley exploring Lake Argyle

When I am asked “How long have I been painting?”, I usually respond “All of my life”. If I had to pick out one defining moment in my childhood when this seriously lodged in my psyche, it would have to be when my parents gave me a birthday gift of a box of 48 coloured pastels. I can still recall caressing those coloured sticks, losing myself in their rich colours and the possibilities. It is not then surprising that the effects of my first love affair with pastels are still evident in my work today.

The next defining moment began when I first encountered the Kimberley in 1992. The beauty, the harshness and the colours of the Kimberley landscape meant that the two week visit was just a teaser for what was about to come. One more visit and I knew that I had a connection with the Kimberley that had to be explored and savored through my interaction with the landscape and the subsequent painting of it. Mid 1990 saw my relocation from the fast paced Sydney corporate life to the outback town of Kununurra for a period of eleven years. Through the Kimberley School of Art, Lovell Gallery, and their founder (and my mentor) Nadeen Lovell, I was introduced to magic of oil paint and gouache and taught the skills to translate my feelings onto a two dimensional platform for others to share.

Today I work across the three mediums as each one allows me to explore a certain aspect of the subject matter, drawing out the unique characteristics of the subject matter with those of the particular medium selected. Through several government and semi government commissions, I stepped outside my comfort zone and the basis for my current style, best described as ‘contemporary realism’, was born. The three mediums enable me to use push this style in different and exciting ways.



The subject matter I have chosen for the numerous exhibitions, commissions and award entries over the last 18 years has been the Kimberley region. I feel a strong connection with the region. My subject matter often incorporates both the hot, harsh, arid landscapes as well as some form of water catchment. On so many of my treks across the landscape, perspiring under the heat of the day, I would come across an unexpected spring, waterfall or partially dry creek bed. Water features regularly in my paintings as it is the basis of life and so important to survival in the Kimberley.


During the execution of each painting I have the pleasure to be transported to this special part of the country and relive the beauty, smell the moisture on the spinifex early in the morning, hear the sound of the birds and feel the temperature/humidity level. I feel challenged with every painting to capture the essence of my subject matter in a way that the viewer can share my joy and love of this great region.

I am currently travelling on a regular basis through the north west and some interesting parts of the world with my work. Creating these new pieces of art following these trips add to my understanding and appreciation of area. I would like to think that a body of work capturing interesting elements of the regions and places I have been privileged to experience, will be developed over the next couple of years and will contain the same feeling of love that I have for the Kimberley landscape.

Kimberley continues to draw inspiration from the Kimberley landscape, through frequent camping and 4WD trips.

Art Education

  • Weekend workshops at Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney
  • Residential watercolour workshop at Mortimer’s, NSW
  • Graduate of Kimberley School of Art (2000)
  • Claremont School of Art - Portraiture, Life Drawing


  • 1995-Two Awards in the pastel Category of the Wyndham Art Show
  • 1996- One Award in the East Kimberley Art Show
  • 1999- Percent for Art Award with the West Australian Government
  • 2010 Winner - Kimberley based, "Caring for the Kimberley Environment"  Exhibition


  • Department of Conservation and Land Management- Six metres of interpretative art for the bird hide at Parry’s Lagoon Nature Reserve.
  • Department of Conservation and Land Management –Graphic image for the use on in promoting the Mitchell Plateau designated to become a national park.
  • CSIRO- Graphic image for use on all printed media forms for the five year Ord Bonaparte Project, that commenced 2000.
  • West Australian Police Force- Provision of two images for the new Kununurra Police Station.
  • West Australian Police Force- Provision of two images for the new Halls Creek Police Station.


  • Victorian Artists Society, Melbourne, Victoria- 2001
  • Gallows Gallery, Mosman Park, Western Australia-2002
  • Manyung Gallery, Mt Eliza, Victoria-2003, 2005
  • Art Gallery Collections, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 2005
  • Moore’s Building Contemporary Art Gallery, Western Australia-2009
  • Kingfisher Gallery, West Perth, Western Australia -2010
  • Lovell Gallery, Kununurra, Western Australia- 1998 to 2012
  • Artopia Gallery, Kununura, Western Australia -2013, 2014
  • Tacit Contemporary Art, Abbotsford, Victoria-2014
  • Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Western Australia-2014
  • Old Pearlers' House, Broome, Western Australia - 2015, 2016