Karen Burgess

Karen Burgess

Location: Australia

Karen Burgess is an award winning fine art photographer based in Sydney, Australia, who graduated from Sydney College of the Arts in 1981.
Karen’s interest lies in featuring everyday objects and locations, isolating them from their mundane environment to show each in an entirely new light.
Her work explores themes of how nature transforms our man made mark, by subtly changing the surfaces over time of our efforts to build mighty shrines to the car and our material world. Karen images the often unnoticed sandstone basement walls of car parks and metal dumpsters where she isolates the natural patterns achieved through years of weathering, focusing too, our eyes on these natural murals. Recent work follows on from this theme, with her images focusing on patternicity, the way our mind sees patterns among us and turns these patterns into human form
Karen’s first solo exhibition of Organic Landscapes was held at the prestigious Australian Museum, Sydney, as part of the Head On Photo Festival. In May 2015, Karen was a selected artist in ArtVenice Biennale 3, where her images were shown during the Venice Biennale.
Karen’s work is found in private collections in Europe, Sydney and Los Angeles.
Solo Exhibitions
2016 me.artspace. Sydney. Head On Photo Festival. Associated Exhibition.
2015 Australian Museum. Sydney. Head On Photo Festival Associated Exhibition.
Group Exhibitions
International Photographer of the Year. People – Lifestyle – Honourable Mention
Light Space and Time Online Art Gallery. Nature – Juried Exhibition. Special recognition
Light Space and Time Online Art Gallery. Figurative Art – Juried Exhibition. Special recognition
Darkroom Gallery, Vermont USA. Juried Exhibition ‘ARTIfact’ Honourable Mention
Atlantic Works Gallery Boston, USA. The Boston Biennial 4 Juried exhibition, finalist
Darkroom Gallery Vermont, USA. Juried Exhibition ‘Chroma’
Darkroom Gallery Vermont, USA, Juried Exhibition ‘Culture’
International Photographer of the Year – People – Lifestyle – Honourable Mention
Fine Art Photography Awards – Abstract – Nominee
International Photographer of the Year – Fine Art, Abstract – Honourable Mention
Fine Art Photography Awards – Abstract – Honourable Mention
ArtVenice Biennale 3, Selected artist, Venice Italy
Warringah Art Prize, NSW AUS – selected


No Signal

Distorted TV images of the 1st presidential debate I was watching in Australia, (caused by wind moving the antenna) epitomize the overbearing and interruptive style of Trump. These images are unique despite being transmitted globally as the resulting pixelated and blurred image was in itself unique to this moment in time and this television. At this stage it was assumed Clinton would win, with these images now showing an unexpected prescience.

ClintonTrump 1 “ClintonTrump 1”

Distorted TV signal of the 1st Presidential Debate

ClintonTrump 2 “ClintonTrump 2”

Distorted TV images of the 1st Presidential Debate.

ClintonTrump 3 “ClintonTrump 3”

Distorted TV images of the 1st Presidential Debate.


Real, not real, human, not human.
Aliens amongst us.
Our brains have been hard wired to turn shapes and patterns into recognisable images that can be mistaken for other things. This is known as Pareidolia or Patternicity and extends to faces, human bodies and symbols. These photographs are a progression from my series of anthropomorphic images found in rock forms.
Spotted and Lemon scented Gums with their smooth textured bark and delightfully human wrinkles lend themselves to patternicity. In this series of images of local trees and rocks I have referenced natural forms that could be mistaken for humans or extra terrestrial beings. The wind sculptured rocks at Curl Curl headland become a woman’s torso. Tree limbs become female bodies or otherworld creatures.

Treeform 1 “Treeform 1”

Lemon Scented Gum, Sydney, Australia.

Treeform 2 “Treeform 2”

Lemon Scented Gum, Sydney Australia.

Rockform 1 “Rockform 1”

Weathered rocks at Curl Curl Beach Headland, NSW Australia

Treeform 3 “Treeform 3”

Lemon Scented Gum, Sydney Australia