Karen Wallis draws and paints the everyday world. She is curious about the role of images and how they are perceived by the viewer, in particular how visual rhetoric influences their perceptions through historical reference, methods of display and curatorial input.
Her recent three year residency at The Holburne Museum, during its closure for redevelopment, has added a further interest in the artist’s relationship with people in a working environment and the physical experience of ‘being there’ over a long period of time. She has always enjoyed interacting through her work, with both people and places, and reflection on this residency is providing the stimulus to push her current practice beyond its normal boundaries.
Although Karen’s work is rooted in figurative painting and drawing, she also engages in projects that extend into installation, intervention, performance and digital media. Reading on aesthetics and philosophy informs her practice but the visual element always leads any theoretical input. Her PhD (Painting & Drawing the Nude: a search for a realism of the body through phenomenology & fine art practice - UWE Bristol, 2003) embraced a broad range of art practice in a variety of venues, supported by texts on phenomenology, hermeneutics and alterity.
Karen lives and works in Bath, and takes an active interest in provision for visual art in the area. She was Chair of BANA (Bath Area Network for Artists) from 2003 until 2006 and is currently an external trustee for Bath Artists’ Studios.