“I am drawn to the Outback landscapes of Australia because these are the places that continually redefine and reinterpret with contemporary painting.”
Karen Stephens is an Australian born painter and emerging writer who has based herself in far remote Queensland since 2018 to enable her a refined investigation of her subject matter. Her practice focuses predominately on contemporary Australian landscape painting and is a sustained enquiry of how the remote landscape has continued to be a vehicle to explore the personal as the universal. Karen employs concepts such as the architecture of theatre, the gaze and the female experience to consider how ubiquitous screen interfaces open up new perspectives for painting and also the duality that exists between painting and cinematic principles.
Karen completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from Griffith University, Queensland College of Art in 2017. She has exhibited to both national and international audiences and been a finalist in a number of prestigious awards in her early career. In 2015 she was awarded Griffith University’s ‘Bonnie English Memorial Award’ for Fine Art Theory and in 2016 Karen was the Major Award Winner of the 2016 Queensland Regional Art Awards state touring exhibition (Flying Arts Alliance).
Karen has recently been shortlisted as a finalist of the 2020 Percival Portrait Prize for Painting and her works have been chosen as finalists in the Mosman Art Prize, John Leslie Art Prize, Pro Hart Outback Art Prize, Parliament Plein Air Art Prize and the Elaine Bermingham National Prize for Watercolour in Landscape Painting.
Karen is represented by GALA Gallery Rockhampton, Queensland.