Karen Seccombe

Karen Seccombe

What inspires your art practice?
Art making as a form of social action has become part of my feminist approach.
I use glass because I value light. Every work I make responds to a hard-won personal kaupapa and symbols that I have developed in response to my experiences. It matters to me that my work challenges oppression and injustice, it   matters that it allows other women to see themselves as bodies of light, not broken, damaged, passive ‘victims’, it matters that people talk about violence openly. My work is my voice, my conduit, my resistance to violence, my form of
social activism, my response to the binaries inherent in the complex discourse I
work within.

What materials do you work in?
Glass, copper, bronze, reclaimed and found materials

Describe your artwork for NZ Sculpture OnShore 2021
Often people will ask “why doesn’t she just leave?”. This work recognises the concept of a revolving door, a kaupapa where concepts of safe and not safe
are addressed, opening a space for a more complex understanding of what lies between these binaries.

Leaving is often the most dangerous time for those experiencing violence. Factors including financial and psychological abuse, threats and intimidation may make staying put a much safer option.

The two sides of the door represent the ‘during’ and ‘after’ of violence and the constantly shifting nature of these. Glass refers to the light that we hold onto in the dark spaces violence creates. The symbols used are potent representations of my resistance to violence, dignity, and family.

Where are the public most likely to see your artworks outside of NZSOS?Space Studio and Gallery Whanganui

Where did you study?
Toi Oho ki Apiti, Massey University

Sculptures by Karen Seccombe

NZ Sculpture OnShore Returns 2021

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