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Karla Dickens, Creative Director

Karla Dickens is a multidisciplinary artist of Wiradjuri, Irish and German descent. Since graduating from the National Art School (Sydney) in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts – and having since made Bundjalung country in Northern New South Wales her home – Karla has dedicated herself to her art, a decision she says she owes in large part to her daughter. Unlike many artist mothers of her generation, Dickens is a loud and proud single mother, a stance from which she draws much strength. Her artwork unfurls the cross-cultural experiences which have shaped her identity. A self-described visual storyteller, Karla believes artists’ propensity to respond to the world around them brings them into contact with the political and social issues of the day and allows them to break the silence, to carve out spaces for truth-telling, and confront issues others won’t, like systemic sexual violence against indigenous women 

Karla has been curated into many significant institutional survey exhibitions, including: The National: New Australian Art 2017 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales; 22nd Biennale of Sydney, NIRIN, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2020; 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres, Art Gallery of South Australia. 

Karla is the Creative Director for ART BYRON 2021 and will oversee key aspects of the this years creative direction.

Karla’s vision for ART BYRON 2021 focuses on asking the audience, artists, and wider communities the question – Love or Fear?