As I begin to work the clay, I connect, feeling the moment, listening inwardly, an intimate dance that leads me on a journey of discovery. Using handbuilding techniques, layering the clay piece by piece, provides for textural markings. With various wooden tools to shape the forms, sometimes paddling the clay and adding vibration, an echo of life in these open ended forms. I am telling a story, sometimes it is my story or another’s.
Karen L Alexander
Alexander is enamoured with the body and its organic connection with nature. Working with traditional methods including modelling clay maquettes, building armature, scaling works and plaster casting techniques, she is very comfortable slipping between different sculptural mediums. Her works have an intimacy, and seemingly breathe life from the leaf litter and the pungent earthy ground that is a foundation for us as living beings. Titles such as Moss, Tusk, Shadow, Earthbound capture that elemental connection between form and emotion.
Most recently she has embraced experimenting with slips and surfaces; and she is investigating moving her work from domestic to public spaces – from private to paddock towards larger scale works.
After relocating to the Southern Highlands in regional NSW in 2015, enabling her to re-visit her studio practice surrounded by nature. Turning to ceramics as a new medium she has worked with Sturt Craft Centre as a professional artist and has participated in the Southern Highlands Art’s Festival. Inspired to produce an emerging body of work, resulted in a solo exhibition ‘Embody’ held at KLA Sculpture Studio, Colo Vale.
Alexander studied at the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School (TBSSS), Broadway (1993-1997), continuing to the Erskineville Studio (2003-2011) including master classes with visiting artists. She has also been artist educator with the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio, and today runs bespoke sculpture workshops in regional NSW.
Alexander has delivered numerous commissioned public works between 2004 – 2018, including Erskineville Public School, Rainbow Serpent; The Australian Test Cricket Captain’s Walk for Cootamundra Council, Bronze Busts; and a large-scale cast aluminium work for Holy Cross College, Sydney. Alexander’s work is held in private collections in Australia.