Karla Dickens | Embracing Shadows

'For Sale' (detail), 2022, mixed media, 124 x 124 cm. Photo: Michelle Eabry

Exhibition dates: 3 January – 12 March 2023
Launch date: Friday 13 January 2023, 6pm – 8pm

Campbelltown Arts Centre in association with Sydney WorldPride presents ‘Embracing Shadows’, a survey exhibition by Lismore-based Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens.

Spanning 30 years of practice, ‘Embracing Shadows’ will focus on themes of female identity and racial injustice that are enduringly explored in Dickens’ reflections on Australian culture. The exhibition will bring together key bodies of work for the first time, including ‘Hot Thing’ (1995), ‘Sheila’s Downunder’ (2002), ‘Black Madonna’ (2009), ‘Workhorse’(2015) and ‘Bound’ (2016), as well as select works from the ‘Dickensian Circus’ and ‘Country Show’ series (2020-2021).

‘Embracing Shadows’ will also premiere ‘Disastrous’, a series created following the record-breaking floods that devastated Dickens’ home region of the Northern Rivers in early 2022.

Born in 1967 in Sydney, Karla Dickens is of Wiradjuri, Irish and German descent. Through collage, painting, installation, photography, film and poetry, Dickens’ practice is a highly personal and political interrogation of Australian culture and history. Dickens’ work has featured in major group exhibitions in Australia and internationally, including ‘A Dickensian Country Show’, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia and ‘A Dickensian Country Circus’, NIRIN: 22nd Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2020, and she is one of nine artists selected to create a new commission for the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ major expansion project, Sydney Modern, launching late 2022. Dickens work is held in many public and private collections across Australia and internationally.