Nobody Knows What's at the Bottom

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Karen Turner

Born in London in 1978, Suffolk-based artist Karen Turner is known for her award-winning figure and portrait paintings. Her oil works commonly offer a commentary on the weight of expectations. Karen studied in Geneva before returning to the UK to attend Hampstead Fine Arts College in London.

Rejecting Social Expectations with Karen Turner

Karen examines the inherent social bias against fat women, using her paintings to subvert the traditionally narrow view of who can be considered beautiful. She sensitively presents her subjects in a way that normalises and celebrates larger bodies. A liberating rawness and expansiveness extend across her figurative works, beckoning viewers to embrace every curve, fold, and angle of her models.

Awards and Exhibitions

In 2020, the Portraits for NHS Heroes Exhibition presented her work and featured it in the accompanying Bloomsbury book. In May 2021, she won the President's Prize at the Institute of East Anglian Artists Open Exhibition. Karen was a finalist in the Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painter Prize 2021 and on the shortlist for both the New Emergence Art Prize 2022 and the Women United Art Prize 2021. In March 2022, she exhibited at The Other Art Fair in London, selected as the Fair Director's Pick.

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