Dedication pays off for artist

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 04-Dec-2015

GALLERY SPACE: Karen Annett-Thomas.

AFTER a year of dedication, an exhibition featuring the work of Karen Annett-Thomas has opened at the Bendigo Art Gallery. 

The exhibition titled Out of Winter, is part of the gallery’s Going Solo initiative which gives contemporary artists living in central Victoria the opportunity to have their work showcased. 

Karen said when she was given the opportunity to have her work displayed at the gallery she was blown away because it is such a significant space. 

“I’ve had solo shows before but never with the support of a curatorial team at a gallery of such a high calibre,” she said.

Working closely with curator, Clare Needam, Karen developed her paintings over 12 months. 

“Clare has regularly visited my studio and we’ve chatted about the development of the work,” Karen said.

“So she’s seen it from really early sketches to the finished stuff. And I’ve probably made twice as much work as what you see. 

“Clare has been really instrumental in the selection of the work.”

Karen is the second artist who has been given the opportunity to work closely with gallery curators on a new body of work as part of the initiative. 

Karen said the paintings refer to the time in which they were made; working through winter in a very cold studio coming into springtime.

“The palette was influenced by the physical space in which they were made and also the time in which we took bush walks,” she said.

“The bush is very different in the middle of winter and very quiet and there’s almost a foreboding sense of anxiety in the future and for climate and I think that sort of comes out in the work.” 

Karen moved to Bendigo 15 years ago to study at La Trobe university and over a period of seven years has completed her honours and PhD in Visual Art (Painting). 

She has since had her work exhibited nationally and internationally. 

Karen’s exhibition will run until February 21. Applications are now open for Going Solo 2016, made through the Bendigo Art Gallery.

- Brylie Harris


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