Karen is fascinated by process and materials and her explorations in the strive for a new visual language have led to developments in her work using a combination of glass, wood, metal and paper.
The source for much of her work has disseminated from collected old photographs; found objects; tin toys, memories shared and imagined. For those items with no personal attachment she is free to create her own narratives, striving to capture the fragile nature of theses thoughts and objects in her work. Her characters initially sculpted in clay and wax are cast in glass; bronze or paper. The surfaces of her pieces can be distressed and uneven suggesting an incomplete picture or polished smooth - the implication here of a much cherished item. She invites the viewer to fill in the missing gaps to complete a picture in their own mind - this way, they too can unwittingly become part of the story..
By continuing to work with a combination of materials she strives to exploit the fragility of each. Through the physical act of polishing, coldworking and engraving she erodes the surfaces to reveal perhaps something deeper in their and hopefully our surfaces. In essence the aim of capturing the vunerable layers within her sculpture, she hopes to reflect a sense of life's precarious fragility.
Looking at the complex social groupings of children and finding there an individuals response to their society. This can result in a range of situations which maybe farcical, distressing or both. The children in her work are trying to find their place in a complicated world in much the same way we as adults are.
In recent year she has returned to her illustrative beginnings, exploiting source material directly from literature. Working with specific characters or plot lines from short stories, fables and children's tales - the challenge here is to put new life into recognizable characters..
copyright 2021 karenakester