KAREN STEWART BIOGRAPHY
KAREN STEWART studied Fine Arts at Wits University and Graphic Design at the Johannesburg Art Foundation in the late 80s. In 2007 she completed her Masters in Illustration at Stellenbosch University, specialising in botanical art. Since then she has participated in several group and solo exhibitions. In 2008 she curated the Kirstenbosch Botanical Art Biennale. The following year she was commissioned by Tokara Wine Estate to add to its botanical collection. In 2013 Karen founded the Ah HA Company, which facilitated design thinking processes to unlock creative solutions to challenges. She is also the founder of Bright Sparks Creative Play, a non-profit company dedicated to bettering creative and entrepreneurial skills of teachers and children in underprivileged Early Childhood preschools.
The enduring theme of her work is how people are affected by politics, their personal circumstances and the changing environment. Her current work in paper collage and deals with how anxiety and depression, global warming, densification and development impacts human quality of life. Her work seeks to help the viewer find a quiet, contemplative place in our chaotic world, instilling a sense of hope and optimism.
Her art has been exhibited in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos and Helsinki, and her work is in the prestigious Brenthurst Library and University of Stellenbosch’s Africana Library and key corporate collections. “Fly-overs and Drive-bys” was selected for the 2019 Lagos Biennial and placed at Angels and Muse a space curated by Victor Ehikamenor in Lagos.