Catherine Woo’s works provide a visual exploration of the inter-relationship between humans, their bodies and the natural environment. Her delicate, abstract forms, rendered in intensely detailed surfaces, draw forth various analogies between the body and the environment. Catherine describes the works as landscapes, but by infusing aspects of the body within them, an ambiguity arises that blurs the traditional notion that the landscape is outside of the body.
By using a range of unconventional materials, Catherine creates works that are both macro and micro-interpretations of natural phenomena. Elements such as iron, silica, calcium carbonate, mica and black sand are combined to evoke flesh; rivers; plant forms; arteries; cloud patterns. These views could be aerial views of earth, imprints left in sediments at the bottom of a lake or microscopic snapshots from within the body. In conflating the regions of the body and the environment, new possibilities are explored where the self is inextricable from the environment that contains it.
In 2010, Woo was included in an exhibition at the Samstag Museum in Adelaide titled Abstract Nature. In 2008, Woo was awarded a $20,000 New Work grant by the Australia Council Visual Art Board and was included in the Biennial of Australian Art in Adelaide. She has completed commissions for the Shangri-la Hotel, Beijing; Four Seasons, Hong Kong; Ritz Calton Hotel, Shanghai; Westin Hotel, Taipei; and Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong, as well as being represented in private and corporate collections in Australia, Britain and Asia.