Karen Simpson

Karen trained as a Gardener in the late 70′s and spent many happy years tending and healing clients gardens. Always keen to learn new skills she returned to college in 2001 to train as a Complimentary Therapist enabling her to also tend and heal people as well as plants, from the ravages of modern life with a range of therapies including Aromatherapy and Indian Head Massage.

A lifelong environmentalist and always having been creative, in 2010 Karen founded a local litter action group ‘Shore’ is a load of Rubbish! which runs community art projects, workshops and beach cleans to raise awareness of litter and recycling.

She started to make things from beach-combed materials to draw attention in particular to marine litter and found that people found her art amusing, thought provoking and meaningful. She now continues her healing work through art working as an Environmental Artist/Maker creating things from beach-combed, found, recycled and sustainable materials. Her art is intended to provoke reaction to environmental issues of over consumerism, wastefulness and littering.

Reuse; Reclaim; Re-imagine being her mantra she will see usefulness and beauty in things that other people discard or lose, she is likely to be found making a deckchair from plastic bottle tops, a beach hut from plastic bottles or a waist coat from carrier bags.

Since 2010 Karen has exhibited widely in the Herne Bay and Whitstable area solo, joint and as a member of the Ct6 Contemporary Arts group, notching up 14 exhibitions in three years, including curating a retrospective exhibition for an artist friend.

Karen is currently working on several projects for 2013 including ‘Urban Beach’ an exploration of the changing landscape of the Herne Bay and Whitstable Coastline incorporating a community art installation ‘The People’s Beach’ and a joint exhibition with another local artist.

Karen has enjoyed living in Herne Bay since 1981 and can often be seen cycling or walking in the locality, usually on the lookout for lost or discarded treasure.

Re-inspired by one of Marcel Duchamp’s readymades – The Bicycle Wheel – Karen is curating The Art Bike Trail as part of the Duchamp in Herne Bay festival.  An art bike is any bicycle modified for creative purposes while still being ridable.

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