Kathrin Longhurst grew up in Communist East Germany, where she started taking life-drawing classes at age 14. Growing up in East Berlin 'behind the iron curtain', Kathrin's access to glamour was strictly limited. She longed for "pretty dresses and pretty things". Her paintings recall this love of luxuries formerly forbidden, while her female figures challenge varying definitions of feminism through their combination of strength and desirability.
Kathrin's work is strongly influenced by Socialist realism and Communist propaganda art. She spent a decade in Scandinavia visiting galleries in Denmark and Sweden as well as a year in Belgium, where her work gained its Art Nouveau influences. She is actively involved with Portrait Artists Australia, Australia’s largest industry association for professional portraitists.
Kathrin is a regular finalist in Australia's most coveted art prizes including the Archibald and Sulman Prizes at the Art Gallery of NSW, the Mosman Art Prize, the Portia Geach Award, and Moran Portrait Prize. In 2020, she made the final round of judging and exhibition selection for the BP Portrait Award 2020 at the National Portrait Gallery UK—the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world. She is also a finalist in the 2020 Darling Portrait Prize—Australia’s grand new annual prize for painted portraits the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.