After recently returning to the island, local artist Karen Le Roy Harris will be exhibiting work from her Degree and Masters courses this month at the Berni Gallery.

After receiving a First Class Honours degree in Drawing and Applied Arts at the University of the West of England, Karen went on to gain a Masters degree in Fine Art Research. This exhibition, her first one on such a large scale is entitled ?Fleshly Gestures? and consists of a collection of pastel drawings and photography , looking at ways to represent the body in a non-traditional manner. Whilst working on a flat image, she investigates three dimensional forms, and aims to create the feeling of a sculpted physical space through her drawing, whilst her photography subjects take the form of sculptures she has made, linking the mediums together.

When asked about her interests, Karen told me she likes ideas of excess and often works on a large scale, creating bulging bodies that are both seductive and at times disgusting. ?I like there to be contradictions in my work. Eva Hesse once said that something absurd was ?more interesting than making something average, normal, right size, right proportion.? Similarly to my influences such as Cathy De Monchaux I want my work to provoke a physical response whether it is pleasure, pain, attraction or repulsion; it is good that whilst looking at a picture you can think about your own body?. Karen aims at showing an alternative approach to how we go about drawing the body, that isn?t about life drawing but more about the very nature of our bodies. ?The impression of touch is important to me. Also, I aim to create emotive and atmospheric images through the colours and materials I use?.