About Karen Ebbs

Visual Perception: 

A Big Fat Best Guess

I am a Dublin born visual artist.  My studio practice is based in South County Dublin.

The subject that sparks my curiosity relates to the nature of our reality and how consciousness is fundamental to all that exists.  I have more questions than answers and I am acutely aware that the probability of me never knowing it all is extremely high.  One thing I do know for certain is that we humans have more in common than we think.  We have a shared vulnerability.     

How do our experiences and perceptions form our reality?    How is it that from a 2D retinal image our brains constructs a world that is 3D?  Neuroscience tells us that the brain makes heuristic guesses - best guesses - based on previous experiences and cognitive interpretations.

I create immersive environments through which the vast field of visual perception is explored.  Painting is core to my practice and alongside this I make sculptures which make visible the idiosyncrasies of life.  The viewer interacts with these sculptures imbuing them with their own narrative and the results can be very humorous.  These sculptures  also represent/symbolise how thoughts, ideas and concepts come into being.  

 

I owe more than a salut and a nod to the mid-century American abstract and abstract expressionism painters whose work continues to hold me captive;  artists such as Joan Mitchell, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin and Lee Krasaner to name but a few.  I find the visual elements and mark making ranging from gestural to whole field painting styles, to be both visually and emotionally impactful.  Contemporary artists whose work interests me and who also draw from the traditions of painting include Fiona Rae and David Reed.  I will also include sculptor, Jessica Stockholder whose colour compositions with everyday items are quite special.

In my research I take an interdisciplinary approach.  I focus in on the cutting edge discourse at the point where cognitive science, neuroscience and philosophy intersect.