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Art NOW Series presents Karen Campbell
my lilac shadow
Noon, September 11, 2019
University Recital Hall
Free admission, everyone welcome!
Karen Campbell is a visual artist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. Her work has been presented locally in solo and group exhibitions—in Calgary, Edmonton, Pincher Creek, Frank, and Lethbridge, Alberta—and across Canada, most notably at B-312 Gallery, Montreal, Quebec, Struts Artist Run Centre, Sackville, New Brunswick, the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Latitude 53, Edmonton, and the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Dawson City, Yukon.
After graduating from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, where she focused on painting and ceramic arts, Karen Campbell received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan. She also completed diplomas in Architectural Technologies and Sign Painting, and has taught a variety of visual art classes and workshops at both the community and university level. For thirty years Karen worked for Parks Canada at Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, and Dawson City Historical Complex, Yukon, working in visitor services and interpretation, promoting the parks' natural and cultural histories.
Karen Campbell's art practice engages ritualistic or repetitive acts such as scribbling, stamping, pouring, knotting, writing, and frottage, and uses the measure and reach of her own body to define the scale and scope of each work. Over time her drawing practice has expanded to include colour, software applications, drafting methods and the use of found objects as templates. Her subject matter is in direct response to her lived experience, whether immersed in landscape, contemplating environmental processes such as seasonal change, wind, and erosion; recording travels; or observing personal histories. In all of these instances internalized perceptions are given form.
Her current exhibition, my lilac shadow, presents new works on paper - large and small drawings using coloured pencils, pen and ink, and watercolour.These drawings are a meditation about Karen's experience of critical illness, treatment and recuperation. A range of material investigations interrogate the medical and social institutions that manage wellness, illness and mortality, with a particular focus on the practice of quarantine, or the separation of the patient from personal and social support structures such as kinship, friends, pets and home. The immersion into medical and technological procedures creates a surrogate community during protracted periods of treatment and convalescence, and it was during these liminal periods that Karen Campbell began this body of work.
my lilac shadow is on display at The Gallery at Casa from September 7 to October 19, 2019.