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KAREN STAMPER

My work has the overall sense of a painting, but as you look closely you will see that it is skilfully built up using layers of found papers, tissue and acrylic paint. This is an intuitive, direct approach that allows me a huge amount of freedom to interpret my sketches in a bold and original way, to capture the memory of a place and the sense of human presence, echoing the passing of time.

I see the beauty in simple scraps, ripped edges, accidental marks and worn surfaces. By simplifying and flattening space with paper shapes, I can recompose, conceal and reveal, deliberately avoiding representational clarity. The interaction of positive and negative shapes, vibrant colours, layers of tissue and found papers all give a sense of unity.

I take my inspiration from foreign lands, harbours and urban docklands, but this does not dominate. Collage is the idea; it is liberating and leads me in new directions. Increasingly there is a strong abstract element but there are recognisable parts that draw the viewer in; snippets of lettering, worn surfaces, architecture, tiled walls, decorative motifs, textures and colours that allow the viewer to use their imagination too.

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