Kate Daw's practice explores issues of authorship, narrative and creative process, and continually moves between the spheres of domesticity and the workplace, the everyday and the imagined. Her work engages personal memory, nostalgic recollection and female experience, and she spans these subjective and emotional registers through a range of media including painting, sculpture and text. Daw's signature typewritten text paintings draw on a variety of literary sources: some are fragments of her own previous texts, some are written by friends, and others are excerpted from particular canonical authors of the mid-20th century—writers such as Jean Rhys, Marcel Proust, Truman Capote—whose own observations of time and place resonate with Daw.


Daw's recent paintings are also richly evocative of both personal memory and cultural experience; some refer to cherished possessions while others sample well-known Modernist designs. Across her practice, she is interested in both the aesthetic and the evocative, but also in how women's experiences in culture might be marginalised or make themselves present.

In her work, Kate Daw gleans the subjective experience of painting, reading and remembering. Novels, tales, books and stories are the touchstone of her capacious practice… Daw is like a storyteller, carefully layering her practice with text and image, fables and phrases. For her, the personal is political as she fuses authorship, narrative, personal memories and shared cultural recollections as part of a feminised experience.

Natalie King, Telling Tales, Museum of Contemporary Art, 2016.