Karen Standke

Throughout my life as a painter, the main focus of my work has been on landscapes.

I have traveled extensively within Australia and around the world, particularly to more remote regions, in an attempt to capture the physical world and our place in it.

My paintings reflect my travels, which over the past 12 years have included various regions in Australia and the Indian Subcontinent, New Zealand, Japan and the Austrian Alps, where I spent my childhood.

While initially commenting on the influence of the vast natural environment on people, my work has shifted towards exploring the impact of humans on these landscapes.

This theme is expressed subtly in my paintings, for example, by juxtaposing scenes of remote landscapes with a foreground fencepost or bush road.

Ideally in my role as a painter I try to begin each piece as a passive observer but by sharing my perception as the panting takes shape, I also communicate and comment on the environment that I see and how it affects me.

It is essential for me to work on site. I like to spend time researching local history and culture before I define the general topic of the series I am creating.

In this way I try to be authentic in capturing the nature of the region and its context globally and personally.

I have exhibited internationally for the last 12 years, and my work is held in private collections in Austria, Australia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, India, USA and New Zealand.

—Karen Standke, 2011


Solo exhibitions

2010 All things must pass, Pivotal galleries, Melbourne

2009 Far away so close, Pivotal galleries, Melbourne

2009 Art Auction at the SRC, Melbourne

2008 …Where the heart is, Pivotal galleries, Melbourne

2008 Berg-geist (Mountain-Spirit), Altes Kino, Ehrwald, Austria

2007 Alternate Routes, Yering Station, Victoria

2006 New paintings, Pivotal galleries, Melbourne

2006 Recent work, Walrus Gallery, Wellington, NZ

2006 Mangotipi, Lush Gallery, Raumati, NZ

2005 Down South, Rise Café, Wellington, NZ

2005 Desert barcodes, Graphics Plus Gallery, St Alban’s, UK

2005 WA mate, Pivotal Galleries, Melbourne

2004 Felsensicht(Rockviews), Altes Kino, Ehrwald, Austria

2004 Feathers and stones, Graphics Plus Gallery, St Alban’s

2002 Recent work, Moran Gallery, Melbourne

2001 Show me where, Gallery 11, Melbourne

2000 Silicon Chips, JSG, Wellington NZ

2000 Talk to me, Vault Design Store, Christchurch NZ

2000 Poetry of Silence, Stone Art Collections, Wellington NZ

1999 Volcanoes and the paths of lava, Ohakune, NZ

1999 As far as you can see, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, NZ

Group exhibitions

2010 Camberwell Fine Art society show, Melbourne

2009 Melbourne Art fair, Melbourne

2009 Linden Postcard Show, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne

2009 Williamstown Festival Contemporary Art Prize, Substation, Williamstown

2009 Wetland Dreaming Exhibition, Mildura

2007 Chelsea international Fine Art Show, Agora Gallery, New York

2007 New days, Toyota Community Spirit Gallery, Port Melbourne

2007 Linden Postcard Show, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne

2007 New work by represented artists, Pivotal Galleries, Melbourne

2005 Embark, Pivotal Galleries, Melbourne

2005 5 plus, Rise Café, Wellington

2005 A4 Annual Fundraiser, Westspace, Melbourne

2003 Linden Postcard Show, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne

2003 We are all messengers, The Foundry, Melbourne

2003 A4 Annual Fundraiser, Westspace, Melbourne

2002 Linden Postcard Show, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne

2002 Woomera Art Auction for Refugees, Gammaspace, Melbourne

2002 Stir, Gammaspace, Melbourne

2002 Asylum, Art Auction for Refugees, Dante’s Gallery, Melbourne

1999 Tareitanga Sculpture Symposium, Wellington, NZ

1999 Kaleidoscope, Shed 11, Wellington, NZ

1998 5 plus, Wellington, NZ

1998 5 plus 1, Wellington, NZ

Awards and residencies

2011 Finalist for the Glover prize, Tasmania

2009 Finalist for the Prometheus Art Prize, Queensland

2008 Recipient of Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant

2008 Artist in Residency, Ehrwald, Austria

2007 Artist in Residency at the BAC, Bangalore, India

2006 Artist in Residency at Territory Craft, Araluen Arts Precinct, Alice Springs, NT

2006 Artist in Residency at Arthur Boyd’s Bundanon, NSW

2004 Artist in Residency at the Zugspitzatelier, Ehrwald, Austria (self-funded)