Ken Rasmussen grew up in Broome, Marble Bar and other Western Australian country towns before continuing his education at Scotch College and the University of Western Australia (B.A. Lit. and one year at law school.) He subsequently completed at B.A. in Fine Art at W.A.I.T. (now Curtin University), majoring in painting. Since graduation he has painted professionally, gaining a reputation for drawing, watercolour and oil painting skills that place him in the front rank of realist-impressionist painters working today.
Ken’s work has been used for promotional material by various corporate clients and charities.
He is represented in many public and private collections in Australia and overseas, and by Trevor Harvey Galleries in Sydney; Katsui Studio, Claremont; Margaret River Gallery; The ‘A’ Shed, Fremantle; Waterway Gallery, Byford. His work has also appeared in the Eastern States published magazine Art in Australia (Spring 1995).
1982 Graduated B.A. (Lit) U.W.A.
1983 Graduated B.A. (Fine Art) W.A.I.T. (NOW Curtin Uni), majoring in painting.
exhibition and awards
1986 Solo exhibition, Old Cheese Factory Craft Centre, Balingup
1987 Solo exhibition Ric’s Gallery, Dalkeith
1987 Solo Exhibition Old Cheese Factory Craft Centre, Balingup
1987 Solo exhibition Stockman’s Hall of Fame, W.A. Branch, Claremont
1988 Solo travelling exhibition by invitation, Bicentennial Goldfields Trek, Perth to Kalgoorlie
1989 One man show, artist’s studios, West Perth.
1990 Group exhibition, Bouganvillea Festival, Darwin
1990 “Pearling Luggers and Bush Camps” Solo exhibition, artists’ studio, West Perth
1991 Solo exhibition by invitation, Shinju Matsuri Pearl Festival guest artist, Broome
1992-3 Numerous group exhibitions
1993 Winner Woolstores Acquissitive Art Award for oil painting, Fremantle
Runner-up Woolstores Acquisitive Art Award for works on paper
1993 Invited artist, group exhibition, “Eques- the horse in Art” – Perth Equestrian Centre
1994 Invited artist, illustrations for book “Songs of the Possum” and associated auction of art works, Burswood – Perth City Mission fundraiser
1995 Invited artist – group exhibition, Shinju Matsuri Pearl Festival, Broome.
1994 (Nov) Solo exhibition – by invitation, A Shed, Fremantle
1995 Solo exhibition ‘North and South’, A Shed, Fremantle
1996 Group exhibition, Tatersalls Invitation Landscape Painting Award, Brisbane
1996 Solo exhibition ‘Rare Pearls’ – invited artist Pearlfishers’ Gallery, Shinju Matsuri Festival, Broome
1996 Solo exhibition ‘Summer Breezes’, Katsui Studio, Claremont
1997 Paintings featured on promotional material and menus for Burswood Resort’s inaugral Wine and
Food Festival. Exhibited by invitation at accompanying art and craft exhibition, Burswood Hotel Lobby.
Ken has also participated in numerous group exhibitions throughout his painting career, and his works have won several popular vote prizes.
1999 Solo Exhibition. Framed Gallery Darwin
1999 Solo Exhibition. McKenzie Gallery Claremont
2000 Solo Exhibition. McKenzie Gallery Claremont
2001 8 months travelling and painting in UK France and Italy
Tim Winton on Ken Rasmussen
“Familiar, but freshly made, as if for you. There is a kind of longing in the works like “Leeuwin Ridges” or “First Light” or “The End of the Day” that comes from this calm solitude, this feeling of sweet loneliness. The Germans have a word for it: sehnsucht. A mixture of longing, melancholy, awe, and joy. A kind of sacred feeling.
I’m not talking about nostalgia here. This is painting informed by the past, aware of tradition but not enslaved to it. These are images of the present for the present.
I was talking earlier about Ken seeming like a grown-up. Sadly, that’s not common in men. It’s positively rare in male artists under fifty. Don’t ask me why. Blame the baby boomers and rock n roll. But when you do encounter maturity it makes itself evident in this kind of calm humility. The writer Flannery O’Connor described artistic maturity as “being humble in the face of what is.” Without that humility you can’t do honour to simple, plain domestic things the way Ken does in his still lifes. You can’t explore the mystery of light without that humility. I wonder if you could render a pandanus thicket so gorgeously without it.
The seventeenth century mystical poet Thomas Traherne wrote:
Can you be righteous unless you be just in rendering to things their due esteem? All things were
made to be yours and you were made to prize them according to their value.
Take a look at “Margaret River a Evening” and its less austere counterparts. Look at those holiday table still lifes, especially the humble plates of fish. Go back to the dragon fly on the lilypad and all the patient renderings if light in the Wildwood series. The dawn light on Rottnest ochre walls. These are things you want to see again, images that would do honour to your home and workplace. Why? Because, with time and craft and sheer doggedness, someone has rendered to things their due esteem.
Congratulations to Ken and Katsui.
By way of launching I say God bless all these vessels of light. And God bless all those who sail with them. Thanks for coming.