In The Studio: Karen Piddington – MA Fine Art
Originally from Brighton, MA Fine Art student Karen Piddington came to Chelsea with the aim of pushing her practice forward. Karen tells us how her practice has progressed since then, the films she will exhibit for her final show and her plans for the future.
Describe your experience at Chelsea in 3 words:
Please tell us about your work over the last year:
I joined Chelsea in the hope that it would help me push my practice in a new and unforeseen direction, and that is exactly what happened. During the first few months, I was mainly making sculpture and installation. This shifted and I began experimenting more with film and video performance in ways that I hadn’t tried previously. Sonic abstraction became a significant part of my work, along with projection.
Please tell us about your work for the final show:
I am showing two films projected simultaneously onto opposing walls. Sound – of a kind of animal or something other worldly – engulfs the space, in which the viewer is placed centrally.
In one film a woman can been seen performing strange tricks with fruit to an audience of slugs. The location is unclear. Reality and narrative appear dislocated, dreamlike.
The other film shows an enlarged view of the table and fruit from ground level – from a slug’s perspective perhaps. It almost mirrors the performance in the first film – but not quite. Something is amiss; the timing is off.
What was your greatest challenge in working towards the degree show?
Sourcing the right equipment to suit the work and the exhibition space was without doubt the biggest challenge. Deciding on the needs of the space and researching the specifications of, for example, the projectors was a steep learning curve. Finding the most suitable projectors for the work turned out to be a long and slow process.
What do you see yourself doing after you graduate, what are your career ambitions?
I will be making my own work and hope to continue collaborating with talented artists, being inspired and excited by each other’s practices; and exhibiting at home and internationally.
What have you enjoyed most about studying at Chelsea?
Working with talented and exciting artists has been the greatest and most enjoyable thing about studying at Chelsea. Having access to friendly and experienced technicians to advise on projects is also key.
What have you most enjoyed about the area around Chelsea? Any tips?
Having contemporary galleries and activities on the doorstep is a real bonus.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing your course? Any advice?
If you’re wanting to push your practice in a new direction, and you’re looking to do it in an informal, relaxed and friendly atmosphere, then Chelsea is a good choice.
See more of Karen’s work
Read more about MA Fine Art
Explore last year’s MA Fine Art Postgraduate Summer Show