About Karen Ebbs
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.
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
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.