Karen Walters


Karen Walters

What inspires your art practice?
I have an interest in reflecting the energy and essence of life forms and lines within the NZ landscape. After many years of study in Australia and New Zealand, followed by a teaching career in art and design, I then went on to pursue a full-time career in art and have remained a full-time artist since 2006. I regularly exhibit nationally and internationally.
I moved to Nelson with my family in 2011. It was then that myself and my husband Mike (a manufacturing jeweller) started up Kereru Gallery in the seaside town of Mapua, which we ran successfully for 10 years. We produced and exhibited our own work alongside work from an outstanding selection of artists from around New Zealand. Skipping forward to today... in 2021 we felt it was time to return to our family in the North Island, and so we have moved into a picturesque spot in Sandspit where we now concentrate on solely creating our own work.

What materials do you work in?
I sculpt out of native timber.

Describe your artwork for NZ Sculpture OnShore 2021
Rise Again refers to the courageous act of getting back up again after being broken. The 5 ‘fingered’ wings resemble hands
and references how there is no shame in raising your hands for help. The 7 sets of wings symbolise the ‘safety net’ in numbers, the sense of strength felt when one is not alone. They are sculpted from recycled Rimu that fell in the Christchurch quakes  and has risen again. The beauty and resilience of this timber cannot be ignored and its reinvention signifies its strength.

Where are the public most likely to see your artworks outside of NZSOS?
My sculptures are valued for their aesthetic balance and soulful depth and have found their way into homes, offices, personal and public collections across Aotearoa and throughout the world.

Where did you study?
Bachelor of Education Degree from The University of Auckland, followed by a qualification in Graphic Design at AUT before moving to Australia and completing a Visual Arts Degree at James Cook University, achieving Top Sculpture Award 2002. After this, I spent three years teaching Art and Senior Design at Diocesan School for Girls, becoming Head of the Senior Design Department. Full time artist since 2006.

Sculptures by Karen Walters

NZ Sculpture OnShore Returns 2021

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