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About Karen Ebbs



I am a Dublin-born artist and this is where my studio practice is based.  I make large-scale paintings and sculptures.

The subjects that spark my curiosity relate to the nature of our reality,  perception and consciousness and how everything exists in relation to something else.  Following this line of inquiry, I am interested in understanding how it is that we perceive the world as we do.  There are  many factors involved - known and unknown - and at the core is a longing to find meaning and to make sense of our existence.  I have more question than answers.  

Colour features strongly in my work.  Relationships are never more evident than in simultaneous contrast, that is, when one colour is laid next to another.  My paintings begin with a colour and one colour follows another, forms emerge - all is in a process of becoming.  

My approach is processed-based and haptic involving an ever-growing array of materials: Oils, copper earth rods, basalt plaster, aluminium wire, wire mesh, fabric and videography.  Although I adopt formalist concerns, such as the compositional elements of colour, line, shape form and texture, I am inclined towards acknowledging the mark of the artist’s hand and factors of subjectivity, while engaging with materials.


As a multi-disciplinary artist, I draw from rich contemporary wells including where cutting-edge science and art intersect.  I am influenced by the expressive, experimental aesthetics of the mid-century Abstract Art Movement; the Art Informel movement in Europe, CoBrA Movement and, in particular, by American Abstract Expressionism.  Some contemporary artists of interest are: - David Reed, Julie Mehretu, Juan Uslé, Jessica Stockholder, Isa Genzen, Tomma Abts, Donald Baechler, Sarah Sze and Gillian Ayres.

 KAREN EBBS     Instagram: karen.ebbs    


Selected Education

2022-23    Masters in Fine Art, Painting National College of Art and Design

2017-21    BA  (First Class Honours)  Degree, in Fine Art, Painting, Highly Commended at NCAD, Dublin

2016-19    RHA, Dublin.   Self-directed drawing and painting courses + Master Classes

2016-17    RHA, Dublin.   Mentored, Drawing and Painting programmes. 

2013-15    Drawing Studio Dublin, Bargue Studies, Drawing Course

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2022      OPW Farmleigh House, Cowshed Gallery,  I am more Blue than you, You Are more Green than Me.

2022      Wild Accumulations, The Lab Gallery, Dublin.  Invited by Sheena Barrett, Curator

2013      Rockpools & Constellations, In Aid of Indreni, Childrens’ Charity, Nepal.

2009      Dream Into Being, The Galley, Dalkey Castle
2008      Transcendence, Red Stables Gallery, Clontarf

2008      Transcendence, The Gallery, Dalkey Castle 

2005      Freedom Within, Freedom Without, The Gallery, Dalkey Castle



Selected Group Exhibitions 

2023     Hang Tough Contemporary, Selected Artist, Winter Print Show and Limited Edition Print Contract

2022     Painting as Expression of Humanity, National Treasury Management Agency, Dublin

2022     New Beginnings, Group Exhibition at The Lab Gallery.  Curators: Sheena Barrett and Karen Ebbs

2021     Hang Tough Contemporary, Winter Print Show, Exchequer Street, Dublin

2021     Lucky No. 7.   Co-Curator: Karen Ebbs

2021     Metamorphosis, Art Net Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin (Juried Selection)

2021     Pluid Project, in aid of Pieta House, Dublin. Curator: Claire Halpin

2021     Revival, Art Net Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

2021     Positives: Painting in the Pandemic, National Treasury Management  Agency, Dublin 

2021     Transition, Art Net Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, online exhibition.

2021     Hark, Hambly & Hambly, Dunbar House, Enniskillen, Fermanagh.  Winter Show

2020     Quaranteam Day, 7th April, 2020, at The Annexe, Thomas Street, Dublin

2019     Homage to the Concept, the Annexe, Thomas Street, Dublin

2019     Trajectory, The NCAD Gallery, in aid of The Rape Crisis Centre, Dublin

2019     A Quiet Space, Collaborative Well-being project, NCAD

2018     Liminal Space, A Process Space, at the  Sybil Connelly Gallery, Dublin

2014     Pearse Museum, Dublin

2013     The Council of European Union Brussels HQ Justus Lipsius Building

2012     London Design Festival, selected by the Crafts Council of Ireland

2009     Barbara Stanley Gallery, London

2009     The Kenny Gallery, Galway, 2009 and 2010

2007     Gormley Fine Art - Spring and Summer group shows. 2007-2010


Awards, Residencies, Publications

2022     Hang Tough Contemporary Award, Limited Edition Print Contract and Winter Show

2022     Agility Award Round, The Arts Council of Ireland 

2022     Professional Development Grant Award, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co. Council

2021     Clancy Quay Professional Development Programme Award

2021     Art Folio Annual 2022 Award, publication.   Featured work

2021     The John Richardson French Residency Award, shortlisted.  Catalogue Feature.

2021     Hang Tough Contemporary Award, Limited Edition Print Contract and Winter Show

2021     Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Residency Award.

2019     HCE Review Award, UCD,Literary Journal. Featured in the Apr 2019 edition

2019     The Conscious Pebbles, by Karen Ebbs, responding to Wolfgang Tillmans' exhibition published by Lacoon Publication

2014     Hartwig Knack, Curator and Art Historian, Structures of Nature - Karen Ebbs’ Emotional Paintings, Review            

2009     Cill Rialaig Residency Award,  Co. West Kerry, 2009 and 2010



  • Seachange Now, Brendan Foley, Director, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

  • Michael Sheil Solicitors, Blackrock, Dublin

  • Blackrock Essential Training, Dublin

  • Stelfox Recruitment, Dublin

  • Avoca Clinic, Co. Wicklow

  • Turning Point, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

  • Book Cover Painting Design, Peacemonger, Author, Paddy McMahon (deceased)


Visual Artists Ireland, Professional Membership

Art Net Dun Laoghaire, Professional Membership

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