Karen Wade was raised in Cornwall and studied art at Falmouth College of Art. Upon graduating, she worked for Exeter Museum and as a graphic artist. She painted for pleasure, rather than professionally, until her two children were old enough for her to devote herself full-time to art.
Karen has since established herself as one of Cornwall’s most highly regarded abstract artists. She paints with a sense of the great St Ives modernists – Sir Terry Frost, William Scott, Ben Nicholson et al – and yet discernibly moves their language into her own unique, more contemplative sphere. Her work is sculptural, reflective and frequently borne of her meditation on life at the edge of Britain. The far west of Cornwall’s rugged coastline is a continual source of inspiration but what makes Karen Wade’s work different is its poetic sensibility. As such, her paintings are informed by the poetry of a Portuguese modernist such as Fernando Pessoa and the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda as much as her ‘felt’ experience of the sea and coastal littoral.
She has shown with:
- The Yew Tree Gallery, Morvah, Cornwall (x2 solo shows)
- The Tyler Gallery, Mousehole, Cornwall (solo and mixed shows)
- Stoneman Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall (mixed shows)
- Badcocks Gallery, Newlyn, Cornwall (mixed shows)
- Cornwall Contemporary, Penzance, Cornwall and London (mixed and solo shows)
- The Belgrave Gallery, St.Ives
- The Stour Gallery, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire
- Foss Fine Art Gallery, Battersea, London
- The Russell Gallery, Putney, London
Among Karen’s many admirers are Spitting Image creator Peter Fluck and the celebrated Irish abstract artist Philip Flanagan. Her work has also been collected by a number of individuals and has featured at a variety of auctions for worthy causes.