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Karen Maxted

Karen Maxted
  • Work
  • Biography
I am interested in mark marking - accidental or purposeful, my marks or the marks of others. I find these in various places - scribbles on notes, doodles, in pre-existing art work. I collect marks that appeal to me, usually because I see objects in them (that are never intended). I appropriate and catalogue these marks and play with scale and colour inversion. The marks are collated to create works which can range from the very abstract to the surreal.

My work manifests itself in ‘expanded collage’ including painting on linen as well as collections of individual metal or wooden shapes. In my painting on linen, I firstly produce draft collages on trace which I then replicate in paint directly on linen. The background often acts as an indicator of how the image has come about and often areas remain untouched. Process is important to my finished pieces; manifested in this interest in transparency and layering.

There is a suggestion of an incomprehensible narrative, mis en scene and other worldliness. Fictitious shapes and animals appear somehow familiar, and I enjoy using anthropomorphic transformation. I play with the human desire to find recognisable forms in a painting.

My current work is loosely based upon the theme of the garden, and considers how gardens are zoned and their focal points.

Edinburgh College of Art - BA Combined Studies (Art & Design) (Painting) 2010-2018

Insectarium - Fascination and Fear, Waterston House, Aberlady, 22/05/2021-28/06/2021

30x30 online edition, 27/11/2020-20/12/2020
F L O W, Visual Arts Scotland, online, 01/12/2020-31/01/2021
RSA Open, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 28/03/20-03/05/20
The Washing Green, The Allison Green, Strathaven, 14/03/2020-22/03/2020
SSA/VAS Open 2019-2020, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 22/12/2019- 30/01/2020

SSA/VAS Open 2019-2020, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 22/12/2019- 30/01/2019
Rock, Scissors, Paper, Circus Artspace, Wasps, Inverness, 22/08/2019-01/09/2019
Alight, Visual Arts Scotland, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 26/01/2019-22/02/2019

Society of Scottish Artists 121st Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
Solo Exhibition, Souter Johnnie's Cottage, Kirkoswald, Ayrshire
Visual Arts Scotland - Satellite, Summerhall, Edinburgh
Degree Show, Edinburgh College of Art, Lady Lawson Street, Edinburgh
Light, Land & Country, Gallery 23, 23 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh
Ayrshire Hospice Art Exhibition and sale, Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine

​Edinburgh Macmillan Art Show 2017, Bonhams, Edinburgh
Burns Squared, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Alloway, Ayrshire
Souter Johnnie's Cottage, Kirkoswald, Ayrshire
Edinburgh Collage Collective - G.L.U.E. The Envelope Project, The Tent Gallery, Edinburgh,
Open Contemporary Young Artist Award Exhibition, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle

Visual Arts Scotland - Cordis Tapestry Showcase, RSA, Edinburgh
Drawing on drawing, Student, staff and alumni show, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh

Visual Arts Scotland - VAST, RSA, Edinburgh
Just B'cos - WASPS, Patriothall, Edinburgh
Black Cube Collective Annual Show, Gayfield Creative Spaces , Edinburgh

ecartists, St Margaret's House, Edinburgh
Black Cube Collective Annual Show, St Margaret's House, Edinburgh

Visual Arts and Crafts Makers Award, Creative Scotland / South Ayrshire Council, 2020
Graduate Residency 2018, Hospitalfield
Katherine Michaelson Prize 2018
ECA Art Collections Purchase Prize 2018
Astaire Art Prize 2018 - Shortlisted
Open Contemporary Young Artist Award 2017 - Finalist