Karin Janssen’s paintings and drawings, interwoven with paper cuts and collages, draw on personal memories, cultural myths and ideologies to investigate our subjective and collective experience of the world.
Her bold and vibrant works interrogate our animalistic nature and explore the body as a site for narrative. Recurring motifs of the roaring mouth, creeping plant forms and dynamic birds and animals represent change and transformation, inviting us to reassess our relationship to our internal and external worlds.
Disembodied mouths become portals, gateways to another dimension, where fizzing and foaming bubbles, grasping tendrils, sprouting growths, roaring tigers and hovering lemons embody a tumultuous emotional landscape, all charged with a dark and playful wit. Janssen’s idiosyncratic universe reveals the absurdity of our attempts to occupy or project an idealised image onto ourselves or others.
In Extraordinary Machine a purple haired woman rides a wild colourful menagerie of creatures, whilst holding aloft a pale pencil cityscape in one hand and an oversized orb of human cells in the other. Strength and power are simultaneously performed and undermined in Janssen’s world, with nature, inevitably, always one step ahead.
Seductively embracing the grotesque, the overlooked, the unknown and unfathomable, Janssen’s luscious watercolours and gouaches convey the complications of the human story.