Kate McMillan’s work incorporates a range of media including installation, sculpture, film, sound, photography and painting. McMillan is interested in the linking narratives of forgetting and place, often focusing on the residue of the past. Her artworks thus act as haunting memory-triggers for histories and ideas that are over-looked.
She is currently working towards a major project with ‘Momentum: Global Platform for Time Based Art’ for early 2017. The work entitled ‘The Ghosts of Material Things’ engages with ideas of involuntary memory and uses the Gordon Medical Pathology Museum in London, King’s College, the Musee Marcel Proust in Illiers-Combray, the Musee Carnavalet in Paris and Berlin’s Charite Medical History Museum to navigate the fictional lives of a family who come back from the past and attempt to repatriate objects and body parts from these museums. The work engages with ideas of migration, lost memory and historical trauma.
In July 2016 she has been invited to undertake a residency in St Petersburg as part of the National Centre for Contemporary Art (NCCA) where she will develop new works.
In June 2015 McMillan was included in StructuralObject HouseProject27 curated by Linda Persson at a site in Greenwich, London, alongside other artists such as Bridget Currie and Laure Provoust. In April 2015 McMillan presented an exhibition of small sculptures and experimental films at Moana Project Space in Perth, Australia entitled ‘Anxious Objects’. In November 2014 she presented a project three years in development with Performance Space in Sydney that was presented at Carriageworks entitled ‘The Moment of Disappearance’. The five channel film and installation included a new sound work composed by Cat Hope and recorded with the London Improvisers Orchestra. The work will tour to various Australian and International venues in 2015 and 2016.
Previous solo exhibitions include The Potter’s Field, 2014, ACME Project Space, London; In the shadow of the past, this world knots tight, 2013 Venn Gallery; Paradise Falls, 2012, Venn Gallery; Lost at the John Curtin Gallery in 2008, Broken Ground in 2006 at Margaret Moore Contemporary Art and Disaster Narratives at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts for the 2004 Perth International Arts Festival. She has been included in various group exhibitions over the last few years including the 2010 Biennale of Sydney, the Trafco Centre for Contemporary Art, Poland, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Gertrude Street Contemporary Art in Melbourne, Govett Brewster Art Gallery in New Zealand, Doit curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist & Sophie O’Brien as well as the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney.
Since 2002 she has undertaken residencies in London, Tokyo, Switzerland, Berlin, Sydney, China and Hong Kong. McMillan has been the recipient of numerous grants including more recently a 2011 New Work Grant from the Australia Council, which she also received in 2009. In 2013 she was awarded a Fellowship from the Department of Culture and the Arts (WA) and a Mid-Career Fellowship in 2008. She has resided on the Board of the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) based in Sydney and has worked as a Peer and an Advisor for the Australia Council for the Arts. Her PhD (2014) explored the capacity for Contemporary Art to unforget history. McMillan is a part-time Teaching Fellow at King’s College, London where she lectures on the Masters Program in the Department for Culture, Media and Creative Industries. She is also an External Examiner for Brighton University, UK. McMillan has taught at Open University via Curtin University, Australia; Coventry University and the University of Creative Art, Farnham.