Karen Bullock is an emerging photographer whose work combines documentary and fine art photography. Karen’s series, “See Me”, was included in the 2018 Rfotofolio Selections. In 2017 she was awarded a grant for her work in portraiture by the Mobile Arts Council in Alabama.
Karen recently founded Central ArtSanctuary, where she curated and installed the first group exhibition, “Picture Your Story: Visual Storytelling with a Southern Bent”, which included selected works on loan from The Do Good Fund, Inc and from individual photographers. In 2019 Central ArtSanctuary & Central Arts Collective, of which Karen is also member, received the Mobile Arts Council Arty Award for Cultural Innovation.
Previously, Karen was the curator for art at The Lost Garden. The Lost Garden is a community garden and outdoor art gallery in the center of downtown Mobile, AL. It was for this project that she was an Arty Award Finalist for Artistic Innovation for her collaboration with local artists in 2016.
Although she holds a Master’s Degree, it is in an unrelated field. Karen photographs intuitively, is primarily self-taught and has also learned much from mentors in photography.
While she continues to develop Central ArtSanctuary & to develop a community darkroom, Karen is currently taking time to focus on her own photography.
The poem, “What if We Were Alone” by William Stafford is often in my thoughts: “In the river all night a voice floats from rock to sandbar, to log. What kind of listening can follow quietly enough? We bow, and the voice through the rapids calls all the rocks by their secret name.”
I wonder what that voice might be saying to us if only we could understand. My photographs express my own voice and also question: What is the earth saying, the rain, the swaying live oaks, the places which contain stories within their walls?
I am awed by the fact that trees and plants communicate with each other. Animals also have their own language. What if we could understand these conversations?
When I walk into an old church, or a place where people have gathered through the years, and it is quiet--I am curious about the stories shared, about the people who came to sit a while and what they might have said.
With my camera, I create space for the imagination to ponder what those voices might be saying to us through expressions, sense of place, or a particular moment in time.
Juried Group Exhibitions:
2019 Mobile Museum of Art: Government Plaza Gallery, Mobile, AL
2019 SEC4P, Home , Greenville, SC, Jurors: Lisa Woodward & Mia Dalglish
2019 PhotoPlace Gallery, Sanctuary, Middlebury, VT, Juror: Laura Valenti
2019 PhotoPlace Gallery, A Color Moment, Online Gallery, Juror: Arthur Meyerson
2018 Feature Shoot/The Print Swap: Root Studio, Brooklyn, NY,
2018 Mobile Arts Council, MAC Members, Mobile, AL
2018 S.EC4P, Shades of BW, Greenville, SC; Juror Susan Burnstine
2017 Mobile Arts Council, MAC Members, Mobile, AL
2017 Mobile Art Association, Winter Open, Mobile, AL
2017 Mobile Arts Council, Art of the Bay, Mobile, AL
2016 Cathedral Square Gallery, Colors of the Coast, Mobile, AL
2014 Cathedral Square Gallery, Colors of the Coast, Mobile, AL
2010 Mobile Arts Council, The Green Room, Mobile, AL
*2020 Still South, The Rodning Gallery, University of South Alabama
*2019 Voices of Strong Women, University of South Alabama (Opens 09/2019)
2018 Voices of Strong Women, Mobile Arts Council, Mobile, AL
2015 Point of View, Mobile Arts Council, Mobile, AL
Awards & Publications:
Don’t Take Pictures: Photo of the Day, January 23, 2019
Rfotofolio, 2018 Portfolio Selections; Jurors: Fran Forman, Aline Smithson, & Collier Brown
PhotoPlace Gallery, Sanctuary, Honorable Mention, Juror: Laura Valenti, Jan. 2019
Mobile Arts Council Arty Award, Central Arts Collective & Art Sanctuary, 2019
F-Stop Magazine, #94 Animals Edition, April-May 2019
Alabama Magazine, March/April 2018
Lenscratch: Favorite Photograph of 2017. Jan 1, 2018
F-Stop Magazine, #86 Street Edition, Dec. 2017
Lenscratch: The Snow Exhibition III. Dec. 25, 2017
Mobile Art Association, Awarded Honorable Mention. 2017
Mobile Arts Council. Awarded Arts Grant for Portraiture, 2017
The Guardian, UK Print Edition, Journal Section. Jan. 27, 2017
Mobile Arts Council, Arty Award Finalist for Artistic Innovation. 2016
Colors of the Coast, Merit Award. 2014
*Exhibitions not yet installed