Artist - Karen Sole


Karen started her painting career with still life and other representational pieces, mostly on black album paper, in dry and then oil pastels. After her move to the Hawkes Bay area around 2013 she started more abstract works on canvas using palette knives. A lot of her work has strong associations with places: geographical, ideological and/or primal. Karen thinks of these as heart places.

Born and schooled in Hawera, Karen felt the shadow of the mountain and the forgetfulness of our history. As a teenager she could have told you about the industry in dozens of English towns, but nothing of New Zealand history, not even Parihaka yet so close to home.

Parihaka Series -

“I paint because words are not enough. These works represent my feelings about Parihaka as an idea, a pivotal historical chain of events, and a deep sense of place: Taranaki, under the mountain, and what it meant and has come to mean. Also the sense, at the time I created these paintings that we, in Aotearoa - New Zealand need to resist again. Peacefully. With joyful rage.”