The Picket Sentinels is a major installation derived from my Post War Research Project, which began in 2014. The work explores the physical state of returned servicemen who were allocated blocks of land at Red Cliffs, Victoria, after WWI. The intention is to shift the viewer’s image of the men as soldiers, to the men as survivors. Many ex-servicemen who moved onto the land suffered from long term war related injuries including lung damage, deafness, loss of limbs and psychological trauma.

The Post War Project is an evolving body of creative works by artist Katy Mutton responding to her research into the Australian Soldier Settlement scheme (post WWI). The project was borne of a desire to find out more about the survivors of war and the impact this conflict has had on Australian communities. The project research has focused mainly on the community of Red Cliffs in Victoria which one of the largest settlements at the time.


Hear more about The Picket Sentinels installation at Mildura Regional Gallery. Interview courtesy of Mildura Arts Centre - You Tube Channel, Published on Nov 19, 2018


Outcomes have included large scale ink drawings and paintings inspired by regional mapping, utilising coding techniques to represent data gained from the research. The research has also been explored through installation works created from a variety of materials including Hardtack biscuits, found timbers, paper, biodegradable polymers and clay. The project has received generous curatorial support from cultural institutions such as the National Library of Australia and The Australian War Memorial, and has grown substantially since its inception. In addition the support and engagement of local descendants has been invaluable.

I gratefully acknowledge the support received from The Australia Council for the Arts which has assisted with my research, development and the presentation of this particular installation. I would also like to thank Mildura Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, The Shugg/Edwards family and The Red Cliffs Historical Society. With thanks to CJ Bowerbird who produced supporting poetry derived from my research; brilliantly delivered at the opening event in Mildura. Thank-you so much to artist Raymond Arnold who officially opened the exhibition so eloquently and to Andrew Bennett who produced the rumbling soundscape which comprises a part of The Picket Sentinels installation and Stedman Watts, always.


Photographic documentation by Alex Murray


Pattern Logic is a large scale ephemeral turf painting, exploring pattern perception. The work plays with a series of geometric forms created through the manipulation of a core network of thirty hexagons. When viewed from a distance the forms activate the site to create three dimensional illusions. These illusions are then confounded by missing elements and two dimensional components.

The work spanned over 10,000 square metres and wrapped around Regatta Point at Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra. Pattern Logic was commissioned by artsACT as part of the Floriade Festival 2017.  

Katy Mutton: Canberra Critics Circle Award for Visual Arts 2017. For her monumental, ambitious and ephemeral public art work that, in confounding perceptions of dimensionality and place, coloured our world and blew our minds, Pattern Logic at Regatta Point.

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Image by Paul_Jurak_2016_IMG_5008.jpg


'In Plain Sight' is a public art project by Katy Mutton which was created to be part of Contour 556, a Canberra based Arts Festival which ran during October 2016. The work transformed a vintage electric cruise boat into a 'dazzle' inspired year-long moving artwork. The boat is currently operating on Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra through 2018. The boat regularly runs tours and cruises can be booked via LBG Cruises website

The MV Gull is a small cruise boat which ordinarily operates a regular schedule of tours through most of the year. Through this work it has been transformed into an accessible artwork. The creation of the piece explores ideas around stealth and surveillance. Using bright, bold mixed pattern the vessel invites attention while simultaneously interfering with the viewers perception of its form and detail.

The location of Contour 556 is significant in relation to the work. While the boat travels across the lake the artwork is flanked by Canberra's major military and surveillance hubs and is in close proximity to military hardware suppliers. Cruise passengers can catch glimpses of the new relatively new ASIO building, the ADSD and other Defence agencies, as well as Parliament House. 'In Plain Sight' reflects back from the lake, as a moving surveillance hub. While the passenger cabin is always obscured by pattern, the view from within is maintained.
- Katy Mutton 2016.

Images by Paul Jurak