Creating since she was young, some of Karri McPherson’s earliest memories are of experimenting with colour and drawing little animals from her imagination.
Hong Kong born, McPherson emigrated to Australia with her family when she was young, and it was here that she developed her love for art. McPherson says she has always been drawn to actualising the visualisations in her mind onto canvas, paper or brick and dry wall. This love for art and exploration has formed McPherson into the skilled contemporary painter, digital artist and muralist she is, and has allowed her to study her love of art with a Bachelor of Creative Arts at University of Southern Queensland (USQ).
In her art, McPherson strives to challenge the spatial limitations of the canvas edge by distorting the surface. With her keen eye for colours and layers, she uses multiple layers and colours of paint to add depth to an otherwise flat canvas, making some sections of canvas appear luminous whilst other sections seem transparent. This is not only clear in McPherson’s most recent work but also her first and favourite exhibition so far entitled In Any Way, Shape or Form where she got to display her art on more than just a plain white wall. This exhibition was the first time McPherson had the opportunity to explore her canvas paintings installed atop wall paintings and to experience the conversation that the works shared in the space.
McPherson said she is not done growing yet. With her practice exploring non-objective art through hard-edged, geometric abstraction, she is interested in exploring different visual components. At this moment, McPherson finds the research component of her practice is shaping her future ideas. She hopes to put some knowledge into her work with practice painting on surfaces other than her go-to canvas, to extend her practice. This has involved branching out into object based paintings and wall paintings to create an interrelation between dimensionalities. Though it may mean her work needs to be reconceptualised, she says this is both a fun and an exciting leap for her as an artist.
McPherson has been involved in more than 30 exhibitions throughout Australia, has had two solo exhibitions and been awarded two separate art prizes, including USQ’s Emerging Artist Award in 2017. Success, at times, comes at a cost, McPherson says. Though being an artist is a life goal, finding time to devote to her work can be a challenge. “Being an artist is full time and leaves little time for other commitments, particularly when you are studying full time and trying to still create for yourself,” she said.
McPherson hopes to grow not only her conceptual art but also herself an an artist. She plans to travel the world and wants to connect with artists working in the same field. She hopes to gain as much knowledge as possible from other experienced artists then focus on her own work. McPherson also aims to exhibit her work internationally and partake in more artist residencies overseas.
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