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Karen Mead : Postgraduate Associate
MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking

I was born and brought up in Hong Kong with parents of British and German decent who were themselves party to the destabilising influences of evacuation during the war and to a perpetually itinerant expatriate lifestyle.

I grew up with the maelstrom of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and the threat of the 1997 Handover as backdrops to my childhood.

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The rapid urbanisation of Hong Kong in the 1970s which saw the obliteration of hillsides and islands in the rush to build, has made me question and explore notions of permanence in the landscape and reflect on how constant change,(geographical, political and cultural), can undermine our memories, our cultural identity and our notion of belonging.

I used drawing as the starting point to collect and define material and ideas before going on to make prints. Recently though, I have become interested in scale, making large works which perhaps try to assert a sense of permanence whilst being undermined by the empheral nature of the medium - being printed on fine and lightweight papers. Drawing as an end product rather than a part of the process has become an important element of this new direction for me.