We are proud to present David Shepherd’s Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012, Karen Laurence-Rowe, in her debut solo exhibition in the UK, entitled “The Heat of the Plains.”
“I greatly admire her courage in tackling such a challenging subject for her prize winning painting – The Rothschild Mirage, as it is almost impossible to portray – lots of legs and necks! The drama and technical excellence of her work made her a very worthy winner of the competition.” David Shepherd.
Exhibition May 2013: ‘The Heat of the Plains’
Karen Laurence-Rowe was born in Uganda, daughter to a civil engineer. Her family lived almost a nomadic existence, moving around East Africa to wherever a road or a bridge was needed. Home in those early years was often a prefab wooden site house with lions and hyenas breaking the sounds of the night and constant attacks on the chicken house by various beasts! With no towns or cities around for hundreds of miles, Karen and her siblings would draw to entertain themselves. These memories of Africa’s virtually unspoiled landscapes, teeming with game and magnificent views, were to influence her subject matter as an artist in later years.
Despite studying Graphic Design and working in Advertising in South Africa for a number of years the pull of her early roots drew Karen back to East Africa and she returned to live in Kenya with her family. With the abundance of the spectacular wildlife that the country has to offer, her work soon began to swing towards fine art and the capturing of the wonderful light and images that Kenya is famous for. In 1989, she was persuaded to hold her first solo show at the Robert Glen Gallery in Nairobi – the show was a near sell-out and she began to paint full time.
Although Karen is most well known for painting African Wildlife – She is just as interested in capturing the landscapes, seascapes and the people of the country she is in. She is extremely versatile in medium and style and can switch easily from oils into watercolors or charcoal. Karen’s paintings grace the walls of many an art lover both locally in Kenya and internationally – including the world renowned collection of His Highness the Aga Khan. She paints from her Studio in Nairobi and tries to get into the field to be amongst the animals she loves as much as she can.