Karla Nixon

Karla Nixon

South Africa | 6 artworks for sale

  • Bheki I - Paper-Cut Art by Karla Nixon Bheki I
    Paper-Cut Art / 92 x 141 cm
    R9 500
  • Sihle II - Paper-Cut Art by Karla Nixon Sihle II
    Paper-Cut Art / 92 x 113 cm
    R9 500
  • Sihle I - Paper-cut Art by Karla Nixon Sihle I
    Paper-cut Art / 92 x 118 cm
    R10 000
  • Sifiso II - Paper-cut Art by Karla Nixon Sifiso II
    Paper-cut Art / 92 x 127 cm
    R9 000
  • Andreas - Paper-Cut Art by Karla Nixon Andreas
    Paper-Cut Art / 92 x 150 cm
    R9 000
  • Akona - Paper-Cut Art by Karla Nixon Akona
    Paper-Cut Art / 92 x 150 cm
    R9 000
  • Building Castles - Paper-cut Art by Karla Nixon
    Building Castles
    Paper-cut Art / 92 x 150 cm
  • Erin - Paper-Cut Art by Karla Nixon
    Erin
    Paper-Cut Art / 97 x 131 cm
  • Sacro - Paper-cut Art by Karla Nixon
    Sacro
    Paper-cut Art / 92 x 133 cm
  • Dikeled I - Paper-Cut Art by Karla Nixon
    Dikeled I
    Paper-Cut Art / 92 x 117 cm
  • Reid - Paper-Cut Art by Karla Nixon
    Reid
    Paper-Cut Art / 92 x 125 cm
  • Athobe II - Paper-Cut Art by Karla Nixon
    Athobe II
    Paper-Cut Art / 90 x 142 cm
  • Athobe - Paper-cut Art by Karla Nixon
    Athobe
    Paper-cut Art / 92 x 135 cm
  • Yesterday - Paper-Cut Art by Karla Nixon
    Yesterday
    Paper-Cut Art / 92 x 150 cm
  • Mzwandile - Paper-Cut Art by Karla Nixon
    Mzwandile
    Paper-Cut Art / 92 x 127 cm
My corrugated portraits speak to themes of the fragile nature of existence and transience.

The selection of portraits are mostly of the current generation at an age where they are expected to be entering the working world; some thriving, but, most merely surviving in the current social climate. We may live in a globalized, digitized era, with everything at our figure tips, but ‘making it’ in the world today is far harder than it has ever been.

An example of this is seen in the online shopping business, something that the current generation is abundantly familiar with. Packages delivered to our door from anywhere in the world, makes convenience a normality. But with this convenience comes great loss, loss of social interaction, loss of jobs, and growth of consumerism.

The portraits are created out of the very same packaging material used in deliveries, such as corrugated cardboard, packaging tape and fragile stickers. These materials are made to keep precious items safe but are themselves worthless.

The loss and transience is further emphasized through the revealing of the portraits by the act of ‘destruction’. The monochromatic artwork and subtle image created from light and shadow speaks to the transient nature of existence, and the struggles within life today.

Masters in Fine Art (Durban University Of Technology)

Karla Nixon was born in 1990 in Durban South African, however she spent her early childhood on a sugarcane estate in Swaziland before relocating to Durban. She is a Durban based artist who predominantly works with paper. She hand-cuts and sculpts intricate images and objects, drawn from her surrounding environments. Nixon completed her Master’s degree in Fine Art in 2017 at the Durban University of Technology, South Africa. Her degree focused on transience in the work of paper artists, which she completed with Cum Laude. During her studies, she received a few awards, namely the Sam Newton Trophy and the Deans Merit award, and was awarded an NRF Scholarship. Nixon was awarded and completed a 3-month artist residency in Bremen, Germany, in 2017-18. She has been selected as a finalist in both the Sasol and ABSA art competitions a number of times. Nixon has participated in a number of group shows in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, and has had a few small solo shows the most recent being, Just Listed, in 2019 at the KZNSA. Her work is in a number of private collections in South Africa, Lebanon, Australia, Spain and Holland. As well as in public collections including; the Durban Art Gallery and The National Art Bank.  Nixon is currently a lecturer in the Arts Extended Program at The Durban University of Technology.

Selected Exhibitions:

2019
KZNSA Gallery, Durban, Just Listed (Solo Exhibition)
KZNSA Gallery, Durban,  Know this place, (Group Exhibition)
KZNSA Gallery, Durban, Creative Block Project Exhibition, (Group Exhibition)
Phansi Museum, Durban, Be Inspired by Phansi (Group Exhibition)
StateoftheART Gallery, Cape Town, The Durban July  (Group Exhibition)
Mbombela Civic Centre, Mpumalanga, National Innibos Craft Award 2019, Finalist (Competition)
RUST-EN-VREDE Gallery, Cape Town, Birds (Group Exhibition)

2018
Art.b Gallery, Bellville, Cape Town, #Paper. (Group Exhibition)
ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg, Absa l'atelier exhibition top 100 (Competition)
Bremischen Bürgerschaft, Bremen, Germany. (Small Solo).
StateoftheART Gallery, Cape Town, The Marks We Make (Group Exhibition)

2017
ArtSpace Durban, Durban, Together apart (Group Exhibition)
ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg, Absa l'atelier exhibition top 100 (Competition)
Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, Sasol Signatures, Finalist (Competition)
ICC, Durban, Essence Festival, Enchant. Celebrate. Create. Disrupt (Group Exhibition)

2016
Breathing Space, Durban, Transition, curated by Grace Kotze (Group Exhibition)
ArtSpace Durban, Durban, Once More (Solo Exhibition)
DF Contemporary, Cape Town, Artemisia (Group Exhibition)
Loading Bay Gallery, Durban, Own a Space-July (Group Exhibition)
Loading Bay Gallery, Durban, Own a Space-August (Group Exhibition)

2015
Open Plan Studio, Durban, Tracksides (Group Exhibition)
Fringe Art Fair, Arts on Main, Johannesburg, Curate. a. space, curated by Carol Brown (Group Exhibition)
Hilton Arts Festival, Hilton, Eye Candy, curated by Carol Brown (Group Exhibition)
DUT Gallery, DUT Staff Exhibition (Group Exhibition)
Breathing Space, Anthropology III, curated by Grace Kotze (Group Exhibition)

2014
Durban Art Gallery, Looking Forward: Our lives in 2034 (Group Exhibition)

2013

ArtSpace Durban, Absa L’atilier Art Competition
ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg, Absa L’atilier Art Competition top 100

2012
The Collective, Durban, Three Boys and a Girl (Group Exhibition)
The Collective, Durban, Black and Blue (Group Exhibition)
ArtSpace Durban, Science Art/ Art Science (Group Exhibition)
ArtSpace Durban, d’ Art Exchange and Artists (Group Exhibition)
ArtSpace Durban, Absa L’atilier Art Competition
Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, Sasol Signatures (Finalist)

2011
Durban University of Technology Art Gallery, Durban, Reuse (Group Exhibition)

2010
Durban University of Technology Art Gallery, Durban, Amazing Starts (Group Exhibition)


If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
A work by El Anatsui. I just love his work.

How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
I always knew I would end up in the arts, but when I was young I didn’t have a clear path. After school I applied for a few different fields within the arts. Fine Art was just the first to get back to me, and I took it as a sign. Luckily for me it was the perfect fit, I felt more at home then I had ever felt.

What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
The themes I explore vary. I am however always in some way or another inspired by my direct environment. Some reoccurring themes include mundanity, repetition and concepts of home.

What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
Everything is usually made from paper. It is almost always hand-torn, sculpted, assembled or cut.

Tell us more about your creative process.
Like most artists, there is initially a lot of sitting and thinking, conceptualizing, drawing, mind mapping, reading and discussing. Once I have settled on the start of an idea (this is never absolutely cemented),  I will then photograph or source reference images if the work requires it, I select my paper and get to work. Often I see how it goes and adapt and change the work while making it, then that work is often a catalyst for the next or I am back to sitting…etc.

Do you believe an artist should use their platform to influence society? Why?
I think that influencing society is an incredibly important role for art to play. However I do believe that it is very big shoes to fill, and not all art can and/or seeks to. For centuries art has been made by millions of artists, but only a select few are spoken about as being influential. It’s not that the work that is on the periphery is necessary any lesser than the works adorning our history and contemporary books, articles, blogs and webpages. For whatever reason they got lost in the abyss of unrecognized, peripheral artists. Art can also be made for a myriad of reasons, for example, if not social then personal. A purely selfish act for the artist, where making for making sake is the sole reason. It could just be to preserve and showcase aesthetic and technically beauty. Or simply to bring joy to a solitary person or group that shares their space and walls with the work on a daily basis. I think that is what is so wonderful about art, it has the ability to do all or some or none of what I have mentioned.  

What are your aspirations for the future?
?I hope to further grow my career, and continue finding joy in creating, experimenting and changing.