Karen Sewell

What inspires your art practice?
People, nature and the impact of materialism and consumer culture. The central concern of my work is the impact of consumer culture on people and our planet. I like to find ways to unmask the destructive face of the empire (at least to attempt to point to it) and to support the blossoming of life through contemplation and play.

What materials do you work in?
Mixed media including soft materials, concrete, steel, wood, paint, plastic, paper, organic matter and recycled materials. I work in sculpture, installation, photography and painting.

Briefly describe your artwork for NZ Sculpture OnShore 2018.
In Paradise seeks to illuminate and critique the system of consumerism pervasive in our contemporary society. A system which entices with empty promises, promises of the “good life” through acquiring more. Advertising and culture stimulate dramas of desire for the next new product or service. Since reality can never match our fantasies, the seduction and cycle of consumption is repeated. The true cost of this system exploits, discriminates against and destroys people and the natural world. Animal characters, as stand-ins, are employed as a means to frame and express ideas about human identity. In Paradise offers an invitation to rest, play and contemplate, to resist being co-opted by the empire, and the courage to step out from within its grasp.

Where are the public most likely to see your artworks outside of NZ Sculpture OnShore?
On my website, Art and Music Festivals and at times public spaces and gallery spaces (details on website).

Where did you study?
MFA(Hons) at Whitecliffe College in Art and Design. Completed 2016.

Facebook: KarenSewell

Sculptures by Karen Sewell

2018 Exhibition

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