Karla Dickens (WIRADJURI/IE/DE)
Born 1967, Gadigal Country
Lives and works Bundjalung Country
Karla Dickens is an artist of Wiradjuri, Irish and German heritage, living and working in Goonellabah, Lismore, on Bundjalung Country in New South Wales. Through her multidisciplinary practice – spanning painting, photography, video, collage, sculpture and installation ¬– Dickens brings a black humour to her unflinching interrogation of subjects such as race, gender and injustice. Described as a ‘found-object’ virtuoso, her practice often places overlooked or discarded objects into new contexts to interrogate Australian culture, contest histories and agitate for change.
Dickens graduated from the National Art School, Sydney, with a Diploma of Fine Arts in 1993 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2000. She has exhibited throughout Australia and abroad since the early 1990s. Recent significant exhibitions include Defying Empire: 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2017); The National 2017: New Australian Art, Carriageworks, Sydney (2017); Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2020); 22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN (2020). In 2023 Dickens major survey exhibition Embracing Shadows opened at Campbelltown Arts Centre, spanning thirty years of practice. Dickens’ work is held in major collections including the National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, National Art School, Australian Museum, Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, among others.’