Karen Golland is a contemporary artist based in the regional city of Bathurst. Her solo exhibitions include Spells for Lost Things, Western Plains Cultural Centre (2018) and Two Inches off the Ground, Bathurst Regional Gallery (2011). In 2016 she undertook the ambitious task of reimagining a large-scale unfinished painting left in her care following the death of her partner and fellow artist Steve Kirby. This is for you was exhibited at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery in 2016 and was Karen’s first interactive installation. Regional arts festivals are a favourite, with Karen participating in Cementa15 (2015), FUTURE/PUBLIC, Artlands Dubbo (2016) and Artstate Bathurst (2018). In 2017 she was awarded a two-month residency at Parramatta Artist Studios. Past group exhibitions include Curiouser and Curiouser at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (2018) and more recently with every breath at Blue Mountains Cultural Centre (2019).
Collecting has always come naturally to me. It started with a spool of thread nicked from Grace Bros. By the end of kindergarten, I had an impressive stash of coloured leads from broken pencils. At some point, I started collecting dead people’s things. Families gifted stuff to me when their loved ones died. They couldn’t keep it but also couldn’t throw it out. When my loved ones started dying, I collected their things. Collections in my care multiply and take up more space. They are photographed, drawn, written about, replicated, and transformed anew. With each alteration, they say something else. My art practice combines textiles, assemblage, collage, and site-specific installation to explore this human desire to accumulate. I am interested in how the meaning of these collections slip and change, dependent on context and how they are ordered or disordered.