Garment Manufacturing and Textile Design—Townsville College of Design
Diploma of Business – Garment Industry—Townsville College of Design
Tailor—Royal Australian Air Force
Arts Practitioner – Self employed producing and marketing a range of work plus conducting art classes under the title of Arts Unlocked.
Grant Recipient for
RADF 2006 – One Day Closer to Rain
RADF 2007 – Gallery 23
Bush to the Beach – Gallery Newtown – September 2005
Seascapes – Ipswich Civic Hall – February 2006
One Day Closer to Rain – Gallery Newtown – September 2006
Precious Water – Ipswich Civic Hall – April 2007
Straddie – Ipswich Civic Hall October 2007
My Journey So Far – Gallery 23 February 2008
Artistic Cycle – Gallery 23 March 2008
Concrete and Paint Make Art – Mixed Media – Gallery 23 April 2008
Mad Hatters – Still Life – Gallery 23 May 2008
Karen Oberg was raised in the inspiring surrounds of Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands. There she lived on her parents game fishing charter boat before the family settled in Airlie Beach. The splendor of these magnificent surroundings has had a life long impact as evidenced by Karen’s love of the ocean and rugged bush. These influences were reflected in the recreational drawings and water colours she produced through school and beyond.
After leaving school Karen settled in Townsville where she studied fashion design and textiles. Karen launched her own label “Hystyle KO Klothing” producing a range of children’s and resort clothing as well as bridal and evening wear for the local market. The highlight of this period in her life was when she won the 1988 North Queensland Fashion Awards staged at the Breakwater Casino in Townsville for one of her range of elegant evening gowns.Karen was then recruited by the RAAF as a tailor and initially served in Adelaide before being posted to Amberley in Ipswich. After leaving the service, she established a successful marketing and event management business with husband Rob.
Regardless of these successes, Karen has always looked to get back to her creative roots and pursue new challenges. In 2004 she finally acted on her desire to devote more time to her painting. She now works as a full time arts practitioner producing a wide range of works and conducting classes and art groups under the “Arts Unlocked” banner.
In September 2005 Gallery Newtown in Ipswich mounted “Bush to the Beach”, Karen’s first solo exhibition reflecting her two environmental loves, Australia’s magnificent shores and beautiful rural landscapes. Over two thirds of the 27 works offered during the 9 day exhibition were sold.
Twelve months later her “One day closer to Rain” exhibition, reflected the dramatic impact on the South East Queensland landscape of the record breaking drought that has gripped the region. A local writer to penned a number of poems about a selection of the works and recited them at the exhibition opening. The title represented the artist’s optimism for the future and confidence that we will once again see our world at its lush green best. Like her first exhibition, “One Day Closer to Rain” was commercially successful with the majority of works selling during the week long showing. In appreciation of the support provided by the City of Ipswich through the RADF program Karen also donated two works to the City as a record of this period of extreme drought.
Karen produces traditional landscapes, seascapes & still lifes in oils along with more contemporary works in a range of mediums. She is represented by Gallery Newtown, Brisbane Rd Ipswich & Bella Arts at Springfield Lakes. Many examples of her works can also be viewed at her website – www.artsunlocked.com.au
Karen has been active in the arts community, she was facilitator of a community art project in Ipswich in 2004, Woodlands Artsfest, reestablished the Ipswich Arts and craft markets for the Ipswich Events Corporation. She has also participated in many joint exhibitions from Townsville to Adelaide. She has won numerous awards with her entries into art awards.
The new direction my life has taken over the last two years has had no road signs, but it has lead me on a wonderful path of self discovery and fulfillment. 2008 marks the opening of my working Studio and Gallery to the public. Though only open at limited times it enables me to have contact with people interested in my works and for me to experience this interaction through my works.
This year I have particularly enjoyed the experience of painting a portrait for the Archibald Prize. This is my first entry into the award. At no time through this process have I felt pressure knowing that the portrait was destined for the largest portrait prize in Australia. Victor Bray was an obvious choice as a subject. I have known Victor for many years as Australia’s most famous Drag Racer and a friend. Victor is a complex individual and I have in this portrait shown a couple of important facets in his life. The experience of painting for the Archibald will stay with me for a lifetime. I not only grew as an artist but I started to understand the process in how and why I want to be a painter, Though not chosen as a finalist I was very happy with the portrait and the response for the public has been very rewarding.
My work is diverse, I feel different subjects inevitably call for different methods. This has nothing to do with the development or progress of my work.
My view to the future as an art practitioner is to continue to develop and learn the craft of fine art. I hope to one day have my work represented nationally and internationally.
For further details please contact Karen on 0410 269530