Karen Tearnan

Contemporary South African Artist 

Artist statement

My own search, loss and recovery of spiritual meaning and practice within a tumultuous world, has birthed the desire to create paintings that reflect a spiritual journey common to all mankind, regardless of religion, culture, race, age, gender or time.

My paintings unfold experientialy through image intention and meditative practice. This process of meditation is a key element in finding new images and thoughts in a quiet space. I also paint while listening to various sounds, linking and incorporating sound into my works. I draw parallels with sound to some of the formal elements of art such as colour, tone, shape and rhythm. For example, some of my works represent being spiritually out of tune, and in order to allow this feeling to seep into my work, I paint these pieces while listening to a radio that is out of tune. I have also incorporated digital distortions into my work, which suggest spiritual communication being interrupted. I like to work in a free and painterly style, allowing my whole body to be involved in the creating of the artwork with expressive mark making, allowing my own energy to be directly felt in the artwork. My paintings are large, bold, colourful, and textured, and show a layering of image and thought.

My work has become an enquiry into the consciousness of spirituality and how both creating and viewing art has become part of the experience. My work is an exploration of spirituality and seeks to explore truths through subjective enquiry without offering the viewer any conclusions.

I hope to engage the viewer in contemplation of a deathless spirituality through bold stimulating art pieces, thereby enriching the viewers experience.