Karen Maru is a fascinating person as well as a busy artist and teacher. This extensive interview reveals some of Maru’s artistic background, inspiration and influences on her past and current work and vision for the future.
Most of the article is in Karen Maru’s own words, accompanied by amazing color images. The photos of her work tell a story of travel and adventure, as well as a deep connection to Cambodian culture through textiles.
Image, left: “Aspara 6” by Karen Maru, made from textiles she collected during her travels and cloth that she created herself
Maru describes the Cambodian influence in her work (excerpt):
“Cambodia is my muse. I grew up in South East Asia and first saw the temples of Angkor Wat in 1957. As a child, lost civilizations, utopian Shangri Las and jungle shrouded mysteries were quite appealing. As an artist I am interested in cultural studies, Orientalism (and Occidentalism), international gender politics and global hegemonies. I have found that constraining these inquiries to just me and Cambodia gives my work a focus and depth I like. Always returning to Cambodia brings me to a jumping off place to explore new layers of meanings and connections that are personal and universal.”
Read the entire interview here: http://worldofthreadsfestival.com/artist_interviews/027_karen_maru_11.html
Interviews published by Gareth Bate & Dawne Rudman