Kiya Kalem’s work diverges into two paths, one of these leads to the ocean and the other to the forest. Born in Perth WA, Kalem grew up in a little beach town South of the River surrounded by scrub and shrubbery. Her botanical paintings are inspired by a fascination with plants and the unique beauty of each species. The works have a vibrancy and texture which bring new life to the classic subject of native flora. As the viewer, we are invited to engage on a number of levels. On one level they are beautiful representations of our native plants. On another level they speak of the paradox of the fragility and resilience of life, something profoundly important in this time of climate crisis.Kiya’s other artistic muse is the raw power and beauty of the ocean. From seascapes to delicately detailed wave studies, these scenes evoke the timeless ebb and flow of the vast seas with their ever changing moods.
After three years studying Fine Art at University Kiya deferred her degree to enter the workforce managing a busy art supply store. There she learnt an abundance of product knowledge, which paired well with the theory and practical skills learnt from her studies. Kiya passes on this knowledge through workshops and events she helps organise. In the past few years she has returned to focusing on her art full time, with a casual position curating and assisting at the well known David Giles Gallery in Fremantle, along with displaying her work at various venues around Perth.