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Karen Maxted

Artist Biography

KAREN MAXTED ​b.1983 ​GLASGOW, SCOTLAND ​Karen Maxted grew up in Glasgow and studied at Edinburgh College of Art. She was the recipient of the Katherine Michaelson Prize (2018) and the Annual Art Collection Purchase Prize (2018). She lives in Troon, Ayrshire. She has works in collections with the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian.

I create surreal landscapes by selectively cutting objects and shapes from images of contemporary paintings produced by other artists. I collect these fragments alongside marks scavenged from the world around, such as graffiti on tabletops and paint on floors. I reconfigure them in new combinations, alongside my own marks. I build new worlds for them, letting them breathe and tell their own stories. This results in ambiguous narratives which provoke thoughts of otherworldliness. I play with the human desire to find recognisable forms by arranging the shapes into compositions which look as if they feature characteristics of the natural world; fictitious shapes appear somehow familiar; as flora and fauna, rocks or rivers. Threads weave across linen, modular collage pieces connect shapes with symbols from architectural drawings and play with perspectives and scale akin to urban plans and maps.

Selected Exhibitions