artist spotlight
Karen Browning

share your creative practice:
in conversation with Karen Browning

What does it mean to you to join the North Lands Creative network and be part of building a community for glass? 

 

Great to be part of a lively creative community, working together promoting glass and sharing knowledge. 

 

Tell us about your work. What influences translate into your art practice? 

 

My work is mainly cast glass, although the last few years I have started on a body of work using fused glass and neon. I am influenced by growing up and still living on a farm and the feeling of space that that gives, also by my training in and love of architecture. I have always been interested in neon since studying at Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunst in Gent, Belgium in the early 90’s, there were a lot of derelict textile factories then and I used to use old neon transformers from them to make spark machine sculptures. 

 

What initially captured your imagination about glass? 

 

Whilst studying for a degree in architecture, we had a brief to design a genetic science lab, I designed a building with a cast glass frontage and columns and wanted to know how to make these. 

 

What’s the significance of the handmade to you? 

 

Individuality uniqueness. 

 

What was your route to becoming an artist? 

 

I started off working in farming and gunsmithing when I first left school but then decided to go to art college and the route went from spatial design, to architecture, to site-specific sculpture and then glass. 

 

What is your chosen medium and what are your techniques? 

 

Cast Glass and installation art and more recently neon. 

 

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How would you describe your work and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary glass? 

 

My work is 2 part, cast glass sculpture and light based installations. 

 

Tell us a bit about your process and what environment you would like to work in? 

 

My studio in Dorset is very rural and made up on shipping containers, this is where I make my models and non-cast glass work. My cast glass pieces I make in Stroud in Colin Reid’s studio as I have been his assistant since 2004. 

 

What currently inspires you and which other artists do you admire and why? 

 

Currently, I am interested in the work of James Tapscott, Nancy Baker Cahill, Richard Wheater amongst others , how their work interacts with the environment. 

 

How are you experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic in your country? To what extent has your everyday life as an artist changed in lockdown? 

 

I am very fortunate to live rurally in the UK and so my everyday life has not been impacted too dramatically, I have kept myself working and started a PhD. 

Karen Browning

Karen Browning, installation and glass artist.

Browning gained her degree in Architecture at Oxford Brookes University; Masters degrees in Site Specific Sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art and in Glass at Swansea Institute of Higher Education.

She is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.

Many of her pieces are held in private collections and she exhibits extensively, both in the UK and Worldwide.

Browning creates dialogue and altered perceptions by playing with the key elements of glass, light and space.

Her work is bold, dramatic yet intensely researched.

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