Longhurst's emphasis on "girl power" suggests a positive brand of feminism...symbols of freedom and self-determination.
(John McDonald, The Age)
While operating within the language of classical beauty, the women Longhurst's work represent are also full of determination and defiance. The artist's skill and rendering the luminous quality of skin and eyes reveals a sensitivity toward the suffering and struggles that women have endured, and continue to endure, as they fight for justice and a voice within a male dominated landscape. This body of work is borne out of an unprecedented and life-changing time in our history filled with sadness, anxiety and fear. It is a reminder to take time out to reflect, be compassionate and respond with love and empathy.
Kathrin's pilot girls are self-assured and prepared to dive into the unknown, taking on whatever challenges lie in store for them, bravely moving towrads an uncertain future in pursuit of freedom.
(Jennifer Rizzo, Beautiful Bizarre)
Kathrin served as vice president for Portrait Artists Australia for some years and is currently founder and director of the innovative Project 504, an art space in Sydney.
She has been a finalist in numerous awards including the prestigious Archibald Prize (2018), the Portia Geach Award (2019, 2017, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011), the Doug Moran Portrait Prize (2017), the Sulman Prize (2012), the Mosman Art Prize (2016), the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Prize, the Korea Australia Arts Foundation Prize and the WA Black Swan Prize. She was the winner of the Portia Geach People’s Chioce Award in 2017.
Her work is collected widely in Australia and internationally and is represented in the Bennett Collection of Women Realists, USA.
Longhurst described the series in the following statement:
For years my work has been centred around themes of female empowerment, the women’s movement and finding a voice for women’s stories. My new body of work “Standing Strong” moves slightly away from the imagery of dominant, confident, powerful women. Although the women in this series are still adorned by symbols of a male hero culture, such as military jackets, pilot outfits, helmets and goggles, their poses and gestures are lacking the aggression and hostility of previous works. Instead heroines are reserved, defensive and contemplative.