by Ariadna Zierold
Wiradjuri painter Karla Dickens was born in Sydney in 1967. Dickens enrolled in Life Drawing classes at high school where the female form was her main subject matter. She began her formal training as an artist when she enrolled at the National Art School in Darlinghurst, Sydney in 1991, obtaining a Fine Arts Diploma in 1993 and a Bachelor in Fine Arts in 2000.
After moving to Wollombi in the Hunter Valley, NSW Dickens says her work became “more detailed with a stronger Indigenous feel.” Layering of mediums to represent stages of time and experience is a central feature of her work. Dickens uses fabric, leather, paper, paint, feathers, photographs, plastic and ‘all things discarded and fossicked from rubbish tips’ such as old baseball masks, fishhooks and reel, twine and bone to create two- and three-dimensional pieces. Dickens creates collages using an appliqué technique with cloth and paper, while her three-dimensional sculptures are made by rearranging and re-positioning recycled items.