Flinders Ranges

An extract from The Range News, (23rd April, 1993) gives an idea of the exhibition,  Flinders Ranges.

"This collection displays Karen's highly individual style and reveals her brilliant conceptual and technical treatment of watercolour which makes this exhibition a stimulating visual experience.

The works on display brought together the visual data Karen had gathered during a camping visit to the Flinders in September 1990. Karen talks of the incredible colours of the wildflowers, in particular the carpet of alizarin 'wild rosy' the incredible pink flower that covered the total area. In the painting "Wild Rosy No. 2" the tiny flower assumes unreal proportions accentuated by the vivid alizarin growing from the sheer rock facets of burnt sienna and cobalt purple.

This saturation of colour is the most dominant feature of the total series where the artist has used a process of penetrating investigation to move in stages closer to the area of interest.

As Karen says, "My images show this sort of voyage in looking - a view from afar, coming in to 'settle down' only to find the place is actually sufficient in itself and doesn't need companionship or human adornment. The Flinders are covered with hordes of tourists, scrambling, driving, climbing, looking but not really penetrating - the land seemed to me like a powerful entity resisting, in a benign compassionate way, the superficial crawling of human dots over its surface."

For one astute viewer the surfaces of rocks, logs and water seemed to shimmer through veils of watercolour washes that conjure up a type of 'Solarian' landscape in the conceptual mode of Asimov's science fiction story The Naked Sun. In this one gets the sense that rather than people looking at paintings the landscape images seem to view the onlooker as holographic projections of non-real beings. The self-contained images communicate by evoking memories in the viewer, but the source of the memory remains unsure. In this the paintings retain their sense of autonomy and control.

While it is common knowledge that the Flinders have been the source of subject matter and interpretation by numerous artists this exhibition denies any reference Heysen or others. While the subject matter deals with the physical aspect of the landscape only a cursory superficial view would neglect the conceptual and technical treatment that makes this exhibition serenely unsettling."