Karen Fitzsimons (22) from Downpatrick has launched her first art exhibition at The Gallery in the St Patrick Centre.
A former pupil of St Mary’s High School with only art training to GCSE level, Karen has produced an exceptional range of work in abstract form on the subject of nature examining the female form and a selection of animals. Her exhibition was appropriately named “Allure“, as you are seductively drawn to examining each work.
Astonishingly, Karen only really started painting just about a year ago and took over her mother’s front room as a studio. She paints boldly in fairly large canvases mainly in acrylic, watercolour and chalk paint, and, for the unabashed, she has addressed the female nude form with aplomb showing off her own distinct style as an artist.
Karen’s main exhibition painting, ‘Body Clock‘, a canvas of over six feet wide, is of a reposing female nude very tastefully done, and it has already sold to a local buyer! And her ‘Hare in the Fair‘ character is just one of her excellent animal studies.
She said: “I love painting animals and people. The people I painted are constructs I created based on images from art on the Internet. I could not afford live models, but basically created the characters in my head.”
Karen is a tour guide in the St Patrick Centre and at the National Trust’s Castle Ward and said she loves everything to do with St Patrick. “The Manor House tour at Castle Ward is always very interesting an you meet all sorts of people who want to explore the local history and built heritage. Many are The game of thrones fans… as I am.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the new series of The Vikings. And I’m no stranger to treading the boards myself… I performed in several pantomimes at the Patrician Youth Centre and recently played the mischievous role of an ugly sister in Cinderella. It was brilliant fun.
“Overall I have really enjoyed this art effort, and I hope to have a break as it has been quite intense over the past couple of months. But I’ll certainly be painting a lot more in the future,” said Karen.
Now at last her mum can have her front room back… for a little while at least!
The Allure exhibition is running from Monday evening 7 March to Sunday 13 March in the St Patrick Centre.
Don’t miss it!