Inger Karthum NBK NG BBKInger Karthum is a Norwegian digital printmaker. Her 40 years of artistic practice are rooted in traditional copper etching, however the past 14 have seen a shift into digital and mixed media as Karthum has sought to push the boundaries of contemporary print. She creates multi-layered architectural imagery of deceiving complexity, which resonate a subtle dreamlike obscurity. Karthum’s environments often limit one’s perspective, encouraging the eye down a particular path and alluding to there being further space beyond the images peripheries - each piece feels like a fragment of a memory, suggesting a larger matrix of an elusive past experience. In Yellow Line II, for example, our line of vision is drawn down towards a polished granite floor, like that of a corporate building. There is a sense of emptiness and abandonment within this space, heightened by the presence of curled autumnal leaves. A yellow and black handled hammer placed in the foreground creates an air of uncertainty and ambiguity; its positioning seems considered and staged, prompting further questions about is placement and its significance. The structural complexity of Yellow Line II then begins to reveal itself, as layer upon layer of texture and photographic imagery emerges, even a torn ghost-like page from The Big Issue is worked into this sophisticated digital collage.
Karthum uses a lot of grey and silvery blues creating a metallic coldness of urban modernity. The architectural focus of her work builds a strong sense of place and familiarity, the utilitarian and geometric form of her images referencing both the physical world and the inner psyche.
The theme of fragmented imagery and memory is demonstrated further in Karthum’s paper collage work, composed of torn paper containing script and printed type, as well as black and white photographic imagery.
Karthum is a member of Norwegian Visual Artists (NBK), Norwegian Printmakers (NG) and Buskerud Visual Artists (BBK). She has had numerous solo exhibitions in Norway, and has exhibited throughout Norway and the UK. Her work is held in many public and private collections, and will be exhibiting at Bath Contemporary as part of Walking the Hills, a collaborative project with Malcolm Ashman RWA RBA ROI.
Bath Contemporary september 2016