Nelson Suter Art Society

to promote and encourage the cultivation and production of work in the visual arts

Kathaleen Marie Bartha

Kathaleen Marie Bartha’s practice examines the conversation between geometric and organic lines, juxtaposing static and fluid, with swirling strokes and constructed forms it explores elements of organic and mechanical process in both 2D and 3D design.
The work is reflective with dynamic qualities of light and movement and a multilayering of imagery, shimmering with an effervescent glow.

Born in Canada, Kathaleen graduated from The Sheridan School of Design in Ontario in 1974. Since arriving in New Zealand she has exhibited extensively over 40 years, developing a wealth of creative disciplines including painting, printmaking, bronze casting and graphic design. This diversity of mediums has allowed Kathaleen remarkable flexibility in her practice, as she explores how design, fine arts and technology intersect and overlap.

Inspired by the marine environment and the sea, visual elements such as flying fish, light and water are often recurring themes and motifs.
During the past several decades Kathaleen has been engaged in activities working in the environment, sailing and developing her design skills for interior decorating applications including digital glass installations and fabric design.
Since relocating to New Zealand from Toronto in the early 80’s, she apprenticed as a printmaker under the direction of Rodney Fumpston (Head of Printmaking Department at Elam, University of Auckland), focusing on Intaglio Printmaking techniques.
Desiring to broaden her practice she became interested in painting and worked with Michael Shepherd , (Master Painter and NZ Colonial Historian) while he was based at Claybrook Gallery in Parnell .
And in the late 1990’s while attending Summer School in Wanganui she became influenced by Philippa Blair, a NZ Abstract Expressionist Painter, with her enthusiastic broad strokes and vibrant bold lines.
Kathaleen left Auckland in 2002 to live in Nelson at which stage she enrolled in Graphic Design and Multi Media Studies at NMIT. Her focus then being to blend fine art skills with digital elements further developing her ideas into mixed media works, leading to working in architectural design and interior décor.


After a major studio fire in 2014 and losing years of artwork and materials it was time to reevaluate and embrace a new lifestyle. With her partner (a Yacht Captain) they lived on their yacht for 2 years exploring the Pacific Islands, East Coast Australia, Tasmania, Stewart Island and Fiordland. These experiences informed her work, engaging with the environment and its inspiration. Her practice is an unfolding story of movement, navigation, swirling change, evolution and adaptation.
Kathaleen’s work is a blend of her direct experience with her immediate environment and her inner world.
Currently Kathaleen is focused on further developing her work by engaging with the qualities of Light, Line, Form and Movement through digital and physical expression, as seen in her most recent works during the 100 Days Project: