Karen Vost is a community artist, art teacher and art psychotherapist, currently living and working in Ramsgate.
Karen grew up in South East London and at age 9 lost her mother to prison for three years. She questions the criminalisation of people fighting to be heard. Karen became interested in the portraiture of mugshots (originally developed in the 1840s) and the intimacy, vulnerability yet pride that these images can evoke. She uses repurposed light boxes found on her travels to display this work.
Karen initially developed this body of work for the Centenary of International Women’s Day focusing the criminalisation of women fighting for their human rights. Due to the level of interest in this project, Karen is now exploring criminalisation of human beings for activism and self-expression.
Without the sacrifice of these individuals, we would not have some of the freedoms we enjoy today. Karen has become interested in the way that individuals can elicit change through direct action and non-violent civil disobedience.
Now having joined the environmental movement Extinction Rebellion, theglobal activist group calling for urgent action on climate change. Karen is currently coordinating printing workshops with XR. Throughout this exhibition she will be sharing a selection of XR’s iconic designs produced collaboratively to illustrate the power of visual identity within art and activism, believing a strong visual identity can create change.