Stories from the Studio: Karen Visser
This week we caught up with Karen Visser from the Yass Valley. Karen is a photographer, painter and crocheter and the chairperson of the Yass Art and Craft Cooperative trading as the Giftmakers of Yass on Facebook in the old Liberty Theatre building, for more than 20 years where she sells mostly crochet items. Recently she has collaborated with local author Rhian Williams to bring the animals, insects and emergency vehicles featured in her children’s books to life. On 25 July 2023 Yass Library and the Yass Bookstore will both host ‘meet the author’ events for Rhian’s latest book Emergency! Emergency! and Karen’s bespoke crochet ambulance, police car and fire truck will be on show!
Karen’s photography features birds, landscapes and macro fauna and she contributed to the Reflections on Nature – An artist in residency Exhibition in February 2023 held at The Old Barn in Pialligo. The same exhibition will hang in CMAG in 2024. Recently, four of her photographs were included in the ‘Yass, Sure is a Town’ pop-up exhibition in Yazzbar showing from 6-8 July and organized by Arts Health Business.
To date, most of Karen’s artwork has helped fundraise for animal rescue – nationally for both native and domestic species and locally, to assist Yass Valley Cat Rescue (link to website). Painting water colour pet portraits for donations and using her art to feature on greeting cards and tote bags that are sold to meet medical costs for example. Karen is a member of VASY and of the Art of Flow Creative Community led by Gabbi Lancaster Kitchener. Her Tidbinbilla bark inspired water colour was included in the Belconnen Arts Centre ‘Earth Unframed’ Exhibition in March 2023, she exhibited acrylics and an oil painting at the Yass Show Society in 2022 and 2023 and will be participating in the ‘Squares’ Exhibition at Strathnairn Gallery, ACT in August 2023. She is currently developing a body of work exploring the creation of personal meaning within an ’out of control’/doomed world and is investigating display of her crochet insects with acrylic bark paintings.