Sewell’s work explores relationships between form, colour, light, space and sound, contributing to conversations on connections between abstraction and spiritual experience. Recent sculptural installation artworks including Awakenings and Luminary, seek to evoke the unfathomable mystery and beauty of cosmic phenomena, and act as a potential threshold into the terrain of the numinous. Sculptural and photographic works include the use of spherical and circular forms that reflect artist Karen Sewell’s interest in celestial bodies and sacred geometries. Sewell’s foregrounding of the everyday materials of her works’ construction also suggests moments of access between the material and the intangible. Photographic works are photograms and lumen prints, some made at the dawn of day. These recast found and everyday materials (polystyrene balls from a do-it-yourself set of our solar system and glass paperweights) as celestial bodies hovering in deep space. The resulting compositions evoke celestial events and the cosmos, and for some, perhaps the earliest representations of our solar system.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Karen Sewell is a visual artist who works across media that include sculpture, installation, photography, painting, sound and light. Sewell is interested in the intersection of art with spiritual experience, in particular, human experiences of the numinous. Numinous speaks to everything within the realm of our experience which cannot be quantified, explained, or contained. Our intuition, and our feeling-states, our connection to the cosmos, and for some a sense of the divine.
Sewell lives and works in Tamaki Makaurau, Auckland, New Zealand. In 2016 she graduated with a Masters in Fine Art with Honours from Whitecliffe College of Art and Design. Her work has been selected for multiple awards, including the Glaister Ennor Graduate Art Awards, the New Zealand Portrait Awards, the Wallace Art Awards, and in 2011 she won the Premier Award at the Waitakere Trusts Art Awards. A highlight has been inclusion of her work in the 6th Ed ECC Biennale Personal Structures in Venice Italy 2022. Her work is represented in national and international private collections. Sewell is the current artist in residence at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand.
© Karen Sewell