About Karen Ebbs
FROM THE UNKNOWN TO THE KNOWN TO THE UNKNOWN...
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.
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 Estate, Cowshed Gallery, August 2022 (upcoming)
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
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 The Arts Council of Ireland, Agility Award Round 1
2022 Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co. Council, Professional Development Grant Award
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