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Karen Strong

Artist Statement

Through my art practice, I explore the kind of everyday routines, roles and rituals, both personal and political, that emerge within the home. The banal, the absurd and the humorous all appear from these moments where I pause to observe myself getting dressed, emptying the litter box, searching for a Tupperware lid or batch-cooking meals. It’s during these repetitive tasks that I reflect and find fuel for my work, collecting and recording as subject matter to use across a range of media and form, both 2D and 3D.

Within this humdrum of routine, I find many of my interests are in the pause and space within and between – moments of reflection, of looking and of silence. This often reveals itself within my work as visual emptiness, contradictions in form and material as well as breaks in language.

In the 1940s, Henri Lefebvre defined The Everyday as an ensemble of activities that deal with our biological processes, using examples like "women sweep up the dust… they stop the holes… they fill the cupboards" (Lefevbre, 1961). Essentially, The Everyday was women dealing with debris.​ Thinking about what The Everyday means in 2023, my work uses humour, documenting and the home to comment on the monotonous nature of daily domestic life, The Mental Load, but also the chaotic nature of what’s going on outside it, particularly from the perspective of a millennial.

Very much influenced by artist books like Sophie Calle’s L’Hotel, my own documented collections of objects, conversations, instructions and moments are often unremarkable in subject matter, but they offer a kind of informative intimacy that can be pleasantly familiar.

Johnstone, Stephen. The Everyday. London, Whitechapel; Cambridge, Mass, 2008.

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