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Platform Alumni Artist Focus – Karen Crosby

1st Mar 2019

Karen Crosby, is a graduate of the University for the Creative Arts, and was exhibited at Turner Contemporary for the Platform Graduate Award 2012.

“As a site specific artist, I use photographs, film and projections to create site specific installations and public projects. A community-focused art practice reflects a sense of place, making experiences that explore and reveal hidden histories.

“My Snodland Mill installation was selected for the first Platform Award in 2012, giving me the confidence to do an MA. Projection pieces from my MA show were selected for the 51zero festival which went on tour with screenings at the Maison de l’Art et de la Communication in Lens, France, in 2015.

“Taking part in Platform gave me the chance to exhibit in a well recognised space in a professional environment, gaining experience to take forward after I left University.

“In 2015, I received funding for my ‘Traces’ project. Projecting archive images onto the surfaces of their present day location, where the photos were originally taken 100 years ago. Projected images hover above the surface, revealing traces of people from the past as ghostly figures in doorways and alleyways.

“This led to commissions with Brick Lane to use ‘Traces’ in a series of projections to depict history, people and cultural change in Brick Lane. With more work planned this year.

“I collaborated with Dr Nadia Valman as part of the ‘Being Human Festival’ in November 2018. The history talk added a richness to the projections, which paid tribute to the former Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. Conjuring the ghosts of its past, it was very moving seeing the people, whose lives are barely documented, transformed into giant luminous projections. These were visible all the way along Whitechapel Road.

“The installations are not just about the photographs. Projected light is a magical medium, highlighting old decaying walls and peeling paint. Textures that show the passing of time. Evoking effects of the fragility of life, and serving as a connection between the past and present.

“On 10 March, my next collaboration projection and talk with Dr Nadia Valmen will be in Brick Lane. it will feature archival images and photos from Raju, who captured images in the area in the 1980s. He has only just had the films developed and printed. The in June, I will be exhibiting exciting new work at The Pie Factory, Margate, along with three other artists. The show is called Jelly and runs from 21-25 June… everyone is welcome to come along.”

Image: Last of the London by Karen Crosby.

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