Cover image of the review
Katherine Botten, Before Christ, 2024, butchers paper, cowrie shells, sea shells, Scotch Magic tape, inkjet print collage, acrylic paint, glitter glue, gum leaves, clear contact, eagle feather, silver necklace with "13" pendant, safety pins, alfoil, cellophane, cloth tape, Band-Aids., Cathedral Cabinet. Photo: Tommaso Nervegna-Reed

Katherine Botten, Before Christ

10 Feb 2024
Cathedral Cabinet 7 Jan - 27 Jan 2024

pinker now, a scarf
gestures décolletage
attachment style in fashion
for the people outside
tears find it
change the feel but not the pattern
— from Eva Birch, “Love Object,” Verge 2021

A sixth-century Scythian monk devised the Anno Domini (AD) dating system—a system orientated around the birth of Jesus. Strangely, its familiar counterpart, Before Christ (BC), developed more slowly and was not used widely until the late eighteenth century (except for occasional instances). This sanctified yet jocular dating system (which is still in standard use in Australian public schools) is the title of Naarm-based artist Katherine Botten’s recent solo show at Cathedral Cabinet—a gallery space occupying a former 1920s shopfront on the ground floor of the Nicholas Building. Situated in the Cathedral Arcade and annexed to Cathedral Coffee, quaker chairs and charismatic genteel drinking pét-nats are often scattered outside. Curated by artist Tommaso Nervegna-Reed, the gallery was co-founded with curator Emma Nixon (the late John Nixon’s daughter) and artist Casper Connolly. The gallery’s logo—designed by Connolly and Jasper Jordan-Lang—has the same Victorian gothic sensibility as the arcade: two letter Cs in old English typeface are cased within an apple that brings to mind a Rider Waite tarot deck or Scopa playing cards.

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