The starting point for this work began from within an existing work - a painting. In my paintings I try to hover around figuration so as not to say too much, or even enough, but to offer my viewer a moment, a pause for them to find their own way through the work. Sometimes it takes some time to excise a small section of the work to zoom in and find the figure. Hands behind her back turned up all by herself in a moment of delay. Sometimes this occurs in my paintings by pure accident. She reminded me of the diva in an opera I worked on many years ago so I stole her from the painting and made her in clay. In the lexicon of opera, the 'goddess' is a queen, a sorceress and sometimes has great death scenes - always dramatic. In the real world she throws tantrums backstage, eats pizza and sings in the shower. This female deity celebrates resilience and endurance. She stands back and listens with her hands behind her back, extending the minutes and absorbing the world.
Courtesy of Sullivan+Strumpf
Karen Black’s paintings and ceramics explore loaded social and individual narratives that blend the historical with the mythical, traversing the complex interchange between the personal and the political. Recent solo exhibitions include Not hours minutes, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney (2018); An Ordinary Poetry, Sullivan+Strumpf, Singapore (2017); Temporary arrangements, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne (2017); Crown legs arms, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne (2016); Making Do, Sydney Contemporary (2015); Dust over Aleppo, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney (2014) and Piece of Wood, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney (2013).
Karen has exhibited widely in international exhibitions and art fairs including ART HK, Hong Kong; Art Fair Tokyo; Art Stage Singapore; and Art Taipei, and was named as a Global Spotlight Artist at Art Taipei. Group exhibitions include Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award, Shepparton Art Museum (2017); Shut up and paint, National Gallery of Victoria (2016); Painting. More Painting, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2016); Borders, Barriers, Walls, Monash University Museum of Art (2016); The Gold Award, Rockhampton Art Gallery (2016); Glazed & Confused: Ceramics in Contemporary Art Practice, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery (2015). Karen’s work can be found in collections of NGV, MUMA, Griffith University Art Museum, Australian War Memorial, QUT Art Museum, Artbank and Salsali Private Museum, Dubai.
glazed earthenware ceramic
57 x 23 x 16 cm
Judges of the 2018 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize: Michael Lynch AO CBE (Australian Arts administrator, former Director of Sydney Opera House and former CEO of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong) and Amanda Love (Director Loveart, independent Art Advisory).
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