Karyn Fearnside

Karyn at home

Karyn @ home

Karyn is an Australian multi-media artist residing in Canberra (the capital for those that think Sydney is.)
Karyn always enjoyed drawing and painting when she was a child and was considered by her peers to be the best artist they knew. She received her first camera at the age of ten from her father whilst living in Kathmandu, Nepal. The camera was a fascinating device with a pop out lense and lots to figure out before taking a shot. Her dad used to organise competitions for her and her friends to encourage them to take interesting photographs.

At the age of 28 Karyn was accepted into the Canberra School of Art, part of the Australian National University to study Textiles. Textiles is a wonderful discipline as it covers so many areas, painting, drawing, 3D as well as the traditional techniques of weaving, tapestry and printing. Karyn made large scale cow carcasses out of tablecloths for her final work and exhibited them as an installation commenting on the fact that people don’t think about where the packaged meat from the supermarket comes from, let alone how it got there. She left with first class honours and an Emerging Artist Support Scheme award which resulted in her first solo exhibition, “Stunting” in 1998. From here she exhibited in several group shows, and then, she had children……

In 2013 she got her first digital SLR, this camera was the impetus she needed to begin creating again – suddenly she was able to do something that didn’t require much space and she set to work using her immediate surroundings and her computer to create new work.

During 2014 she had her second solo exhibition “Salsa” which explored the humble skeletal tomatillo husk, and in May 2015 she had her 3rd solo exhibition, “WeatheRED” which explored the connection the artist feels to her mother through her own daughters red hair. Karyn’s mother died when she was ten and was one of two red haired daughters, years later, Karyn has two red headed daughters. The work explores the veil between our world and the world of spirit through the use of photographs that are manipulated on the computer to produce images that suggest something is coming through, in the form of mildewy patches on wallpaper, rusty blotches and so on. She has also used hair from her girls and their father to create small bowls that speak of nurturing and support.

Karyn loves to use any way to communicate her ideas and is presently working on some crocheted shapes that are inspired by rockmelons. She envisions an exhibition that will explore the rockmelon form, an installation with artist friend Teah Fort, who will construct the rockmelon plant, and this will then display the various rockmelons created from wool, papier mache and so forth. Karyn is enjoying exploring the patterns of the skin in abstract ways, and the resulting images from these experiments will be printed up and displayed with the “rockmelon plant.”