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BIOGRAPHY

KARINA PAULEN

EDUCATION 1994-1996 Kunst Skolen 1 Bergen Diploma in Art
1997 Goldsmiths College Extension year
1998 Goldsmiths College 1st year BA
1999-2001 City and Guilds of London Art School Years 2 and 3
BA hons class 1 division 2

EXHIBITIONS 1996 Group Exhibition at Hansa 1 Bergen
1999 Goldsmiths Show
2001 Graduation Show City and Guilds
Attendi Art Gallery, London W4
Beatrice Royal Contemporary Art, Hampshire
Air Gallery, Dover Street, London
Raw Canvas, Aldwych, London
Prince and Pilgrim Gallery, Richmond

2002 Beatrice Royal Contemporary Art, Hamphsire
Prince and Pilgrim Gallery, Richmond
Vaagsalmenningen Galleri, Bergen, Norway

On the 15th June 2002 Karina Paulen was invited to a dinner at the Residence of the Norwegian Ambassador in London, given for 'Seven Norwegian Artists and Designers'. The quests of honor were HRH King Olav and Queen Sonia of Norway and Ms Paulen was presented to them as the youngest of the group.

COLLECTIONS In collections in Norway, Denmark, Italy and America, including
that of international concert pianist, Leif Ove Andsnes.

Some thoughts on the paintings by Karina Paulen:

I suppose we all have had that feeling, at one time or another, of stumbling across a long forgotten object – now perhaps unexpectedly, in our hands it suddenly unlocks a veritable torrent of thoughts and emotions. It need not have any value at all to teh rest of the world, just to us personally. As you look at it, what you see is not so much the thing as it stands before you, its concrete outward shape and form, but rather its secret inner life as a retainer of memories – perhaps a jumble of only just remembered images, sounds and smells, perhaps just the mere taste of thoughts, impossible to define. The object a we look at it is defined, given life, and most importantly, meaning by our personal relation to it. We and only we can let this particular Genie out of the bottle.

Memory is, by its very nature multi-layered and free to fly, defying with relish the normal laws of life, it flashes from one half remembered thought to another – joining the unconjoinable and layering up the distinctly unrelated, in distinctly impossible ways. All this is in such in such contrast to the more dependable, gravity of the mundane here and now, that is the substance of most of our consciousness – driven, everyday lives.

Karina Paulen's work is constantly rich in means and expression, but an important quality that is in my view ever-present, is her ability to 'change the driver' and explore the layers of consciousness that deepen as we move away from the language, and purely logic based constructions of the upper level. Of course it is what real creativity is all about, its making those previously unthought of, unsought-after connections. Personal to her I think, is her way of using this condition of remembering, with all its delicious qualities of playful inexactitude as a central feature. What is often left on the canvas is the emotional space made by things, not always the things themselves. That is not to say that 'things' are absent, because there is much here that you will recognise very easily, and a lot more that will become clear, the more time you live with the paintings. The work is very much alive in that respect too – in our 'sound bite' world of instant gratification her paintings work very differently and go not for the hard hit of the moment, but for infinitely greater range of time. They are slow burners.

And in the true definition of the word there is not abstraction to be found here. They are also, rather unusually for a moderns artist, almost untouched by urban life, or at least its external trappings. In that they are quintessentially routed, at some deep level, in the extraordinary terrain of Western Norway and its people past and present. Most particularly in recent years the view Karina has from her studio overlooking the island of Lysoen has exerted its influence too. It is a place of light and of wonder and ever changing to the eye. And here perhaps is something else; the paintings seem to me to be constantly in motion, always in a state of transition, travelling but never arriving. It reminds me very much of the view outside the window, water and many small and larger islands, within the embrace of the mountains around and behind. It is a very special place. The eye constantly tries to refocus in a vain attempt to take it in all at once. I find something very similar at work in the paintings where on e finds a subtle interplay between often deceptively simple individual layers floated above each other on the canvas, the whole often creating a shimmering, reflected light. 'Oil on canvas' it says – well yes – but for me so much seems to be happening behind and in front of that cotton surface. Take a little time if you can to look into the paintings, you will see so much more that if you look at them.