Karla Dickens

Karla Dickens, Wiradjuri painter, was born in Sydney in 1967. Dickens enrolled in Life Drawing classes at high school where the female form was her main subject matter. She began her formal training as an artist when she enrolled at the National Art School in Darlinghurst, Sydney in 1991, obtaining a Fine Arts Diploma in 1993 and a Bachelor in Fine Arts in 2000.

After moving to Wollombi in the Hunter Valley, NSW Dickens says her work became “more detailed with a stronger Indigenous feel.” She also says that her work at this time was about finding “more acceptance with my sexuality”. Following the death of a close friend in 1997 crosses began appearing as motifs within her paintings and in 2000 Dickens began incorporating text into her work. Her work in 2003 changed dramatically when Dickens began beading onto painted canvasses, a strong contrast of fresh mark making and fine textured detail. Her inspirations as stated in a 2007 interview with the author are “politics, love, sex and the environment”.