Monster Theatres artist highlight

Karla Dickens is a Wiradjuri artist living and working in Lismore, New South Wales. Despite training as a painter at the National Art School, Sydney, in the early 1990s, Dickens quickly turned to collage and sculptural assemblage. Dickens is also a skilled writer, often using poetry and prose to amplify the themes of her mixed-media collages and sculptures

A Dickensian Country Show

Upon stepping into A Dickensian Country Show, you enter a world of clowns, freaks, outcasts, misfits and mystics, where she has repurposed found objects. The collection and curation of second-hand circus paraphernalia, scoured from an auction house in Adelaide, expands upon Dickens’ collaging technique. Dickens reflects the world around her, revealing objects in a new light beyond their normal use or purpose.

Your Turn

A Dickensian Country Show is brimming with found objects, Dickens even sometimes uses objects which she finds discarded in hard rubbish.

Find an object around the home which has a history. It might be an item that has been in your family for a long time or it could be an object you have discovered in a second hand shop or an item that is destined for landfill.

Imagine you are that object. Tell a story about your life.

Here are some prompts to help get you started

  • Where did your life begin?
  • What have you seen and heard?
  • Did you always look the way you do or have you changed over time?
  • If you could talk, what would you say or what question might you ask?

Don't forget to enter your story into the 2020 Start Art Prize