About Karen Ebbs

Visual Perception: 

A Big Fat Best Guess

I am a Dublin born visual artist with painting at the core of my practice.   My studio is based in La Cathedral Studios in the heart of Dublin City.

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.  



www.karenebbs.com                  Instagram: karen.ebbs                 karenebbs@gmail.com


Selected Education

2017-21    BA  (First Class Honours)  Degree in Fine Art, Painting at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin.

2015-19    Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin Self-directed drawing and painting courses + Master Classes

2014-17    Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin.  Mentored, Drawing and Painting programmes.   

2012-14    Drawing Studio Dublin, Bargue Studies, Cour de Dessin.


Selected Juried Exhibitions and Awards

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

2021     Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Residency Award.

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.

2019     HCE Review, University College Dublin, a Literary Journal featuring, visual artists, writers and poets - Paintings featured in the Apr 2019 edition.

2019     The Conscious Pebbles, by Karen Ebbs, written in response to Wolfgang   Tillmans' exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art;

             published by Lacoon Publication.

2014     Curator and Art Historian, Hartwig Knack, wrote Structures of Nature - Karen Ebbs’ Emotional Paintings, in response to my work.

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     Cill Rialaig Residency in Kerry.

2007     Painting featured as book cover design for Peacemonger, by the late   PaddyMcMahon.


Selected Solo Exhibitions

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

              Gallery Showroom, Windsor Nissan, Deansgrange, Co. Dublin.

2012      Constellations, The Gallery, Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre, Co. Dublin.
2009      Transcendence, Red Stables Gallery, Clontarf, Dublin.


Selected Group Exhibitions 

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

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

2020      Quaranteam Day, 7th April, 2020.  Studio Plus Group Exhibition,.

              Painting & video installation at The Annexe, Thomas Street, Dublin.

2019      Homage to the Concept, Studio Plus Group Exhibition.  Painting and video        installation at the Annexe, Thomas Street, Dublin.

2019     Trajectory, an exhibition of paintings at The NCAD Gallery, in conjunction with

             The Rape Crisis Centre, Dublin.

2019     A Quiet Space, collaborative project to create a space for well-being,   featuring work made by Ebbs - diorama, paintings and video.

2018     Liminal Space, A Process Space, Drawing, Painting and Video Installation at the   Sybil Connelly Gallery.

2009     Barbara Stanley Gallery, London.

2009     The Kenny Gallery group show.  2009 and 2010

2007     Gormley Fine Art - Spring and Summer group shows. 2007 - 2009


  • Office of Public Works - Commission - Tullamore Courthouse, Co. Offaly and Department of Social Welfare Buildings, Cobh, Co. Cork

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

  • Michael Sheil Solicitors, Dublin

  • Blackrock Essential Training, Dublin

  • Stelfox Recruitment, Dublin

  • Avoca Clinic, Wicklow - Commission

  • Turning Point, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

  • Cover Design, Peacemonger, Author, Paddy McMahon


Previous work

Having a creative outlet through a variety of mediums, with painting being at the core of my practice, has always been a constant pursuit.  Alongside my painting practice, I worked as a counsellor incorporating colour therapy and other healing therapies.  Colour featured highly in the painting workshops that I ran throughout Ireland.  Here, I encouraged participants to use colour and mindfulness to bring about well-being and to offer support to those going through emotional and health challenges.  I also introduced these painting workshops into the corporate workplace and into schools.