Karen is an artist working with sculpture and installation – a mix of studio practice and site or context-specific work. She is currently working on the development of a major project to open in 2021 – Ever – an 18th century cottage and garden installed with work throughout.
Born Liverpool 1966, Karen currently lives and works on the Isle of Wight, UK.
Prior to turning to an art practice in 2000 and studying a BA (Hons) fine Art at Birmingham UCE, Karen worked as a director, designer and photographer for clients in the arts and creative industries.
Early work on graduation was selected for New Contemporaries in 2003 and subsequent residencies were invited for New Art Gallery Walsall and Cultural City Network, Graz.
To develop her practice she undertook an MA in Photography at London College Communications, UAL, graduating in 2009. Work was subsequently added to the UAL public collection and featured in exhibitions including the Gothenburg Museum of Art in Sweden.
Having moved to the Isle of Wight in 2008, Karen undertook a 2 year residency in 2010 with the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust. Work created there was added to the public collection of the National Media Museum and shown at The Photographers Gallery London, at the Brighton Photo-Biennial and Recontre d’Arles France.
Looking to resolve a methodology for creating and exhibiting work where she lived, she began a period of investigating the production of work responding to the geology and coastline of the area as well as the possibilities of garden spaces. Skills were acquired in metal-work, woodwork, mouldmaking and casting and a workshop set up to facilitate the development of larger exterior work.
In 2018 a small 18th Century cottage was identified as a major project to undertake to incorporate sculpture and installation throughout. Stalled due to Coronavirus, ‘Ever’ is planned to open to visitors from spring 2021.
Selected Exhibitions & Installations:
2018 & 1919, Work in progress installations, Ever, Brighstone, IOW
2018, ‘Building’: joint exhibition with Lisa Traxler, part of ‘Start ’18’ Sculpture Network, The Bunker, Ventnor IOW
2017, ‘Cairns’ flash installations at Freshwater Bay and Compton Beach
2017, ‘Open Studios’ guest artist at Foal Arts, Ryde, IOW
2017, ‘Shifting Light’, installation, Yarmouth Gallery, IOW
2016, ‘Pair Shaped Show’ self-curated group show, home studio shed, IOW
2016, Open Gardens, home studio-garden, Freshwater Bay, IOW
2015, ‘Belief’, Depozitory Studios, Ryde, IOW
2015, ‘Blancmange by Day, Jelly by Night’, installation, Freshwater Bay caves, IOW
2015, Mirror birds installations, various exterior sites Freshwater – Yarmouth, IOW
2015, ‘‘Mirrors Nature’, solo exhibition, Bus Stop Gallery, Totland, IOW
2012, ‘The World in London’, The Photographers Gallery, London
2012, ‘Is That It’, Phoenix Gallery, Brighton, Brighton Photo Bienniale Fringe Focus.
2011, ‘Nine Point Perspective’, Hotshoe Gallery, London
2011, ‘Print Now!’ Bearspace, London
2011, ‘Within a Mile’, Fitzrovia Photography Prize, Diemar Noble Photography, London
2011, ‘Close Your Eyes and Tell Me What You See’, Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden (catalogue)
2010, ‘Here/There’, installations, St Thomas Garden of Rest, Ryde Arts Festival, IOW
2010, ‘Re: Landscape’, solo exhibition, Viewfinder Gallery, London
2010, ‘Inside-Outside’, Piano Primo Gallery, Lecce, Italy
2008, ‘Spectre’, installation, Brighton Media Centre, Brighton Photo Biennial Fringe
2006, ‘Unravelling Photography’, Quay Arts Centre IOW (catalogue)
2005, ‘Living Rooms’, solo exhibition/installations, ESC Gallery/Cultural City Network, Graz, Austria
2005, ‘Last Chickens of Sainsburys’, Glasgow International Art Festival
2005, ‘Urbanbodies’, 27 Brick Lane, Whitechapel, London
2004, ‘Now You’ve Seen It’, solo exhibition, New Art Gallery Walsall
2004, ‘The Turner Prize Show’, Space Banana, Birmingham
2004, ‘Imprint of The Orient/The West’, Gallery Works, Osaka, Japan
2004, ‘Curious’, Shoreditch Town Hall, London
2003, ‘New Contemporaries’, Manchester Cornerhouse & Victoria Miro, London (catalogue)
2010-11, Julia Margaret Cameron Trust, IOW, UK
2005, Cultural City Network, Graz, Austria
2004, New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK
Curating/Lead Artist Experience:
2016, ‘Pair Shaped Show’ self-curated group show, Karen Karen Studio, IOW
2012, Curator of the Permanent Collection, Julia Margaret Cameron Trust, IOW
2011-12, Lead artist, fundraising and delivery, photographic heritage development and workshops for Julia Margaret Cameron Trust.
2005- 2007, Image Archive Curator and Arts Council fundraising and delivery of an analog to digital project for the Stereoscopic Society of Great Britain.
National Media Museum, Bradford
University of the Arts, London
2009, MA Fine Art Photography, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London
2003, BA(Hons) Fine Art, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, University of Central England