Karen Maxted

Website: http://karenmaxted.com

Email: karen_maxted@hotmail.com

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Insects, acrylic on linen, 20x20cm

Oayon, acrylic on linen, 80x80cm

Cgu, acrylic on linen, 40x50cm

6499a, acrylic on linen, 100x80cm

Diving Board, acrylic on linen, 80x80cm

Untitled (Hospitalfield I), acrylic and thread on linen, 100x100cm


I am interested in mark marking - accidental or purposeful, my marks or the marks of others. I find these in various places - scribbles on notes, doodles, in pre-existing art work. I collect marks that appeal to me, usually because I see objects in them (that are never intended). I appropriate and catalogue these marks and play with scale and colour inversion. The marks are collated to create works which can range from the very abstract to the surreal.

My work manifests itself in ‘expanded collage’ including painting on linen as well as collections of individual metal or wooden shapes. In my painting on linen, I firstly produce draft collages on trace which I then replicate in paint directly on linen. The background often acts as an indicator of how the image has come about and often areas remain untouched. Process is important to my finished pieces; manifested in this interest in transparency and layering.

There is a suggestion of an incomprehensible narrative, mis en scene and other worldliness. Fictitious shapes and animals appear somehow familiar, and I enjoy using anthropomorphic transformation. I play with the human desire to find recognisable forms in a painting.



Karen Maxted grew up in Glasgow and studied at Edinburgh College of Art. She was the recipient of the Katherine Michaelson Prize (2018) and the Annual Art Collection Purchase Prize (2018). She lives in Troon, Ayrshire. She has works in collections with the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian.


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