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Karen Turner is an award winning figure and portrait artist whose oil paintings are a commentary on the weight of expectations.  Focusing on the physical body and the scrutiny to which it is commonly subjected, her paintings explore what society expects of a woman, the ways in which a woman's shape is often considered to define her, and the impact that this has on her life and sense of self.

An examination of the inherent bias against, and at times discrimination of, fat bodies, Karen's work challenges the traditionally narrow view of who can be considered beautiful, as she sensitively presents her subjects in a way that both celebrates and normalises.

Born in London in 1978, Karen attended Hampstead Fine Arts College before going on to a career in the City.  Since returning to art in 2020 she has been awarded the President's Prize by the Institute of East Anglian Artists, the Professional Artist Award by the Visual Artists Association and the Art Fluent Evolution Grant.

Karen exhibits with The Other Art Fair in London, and in 2022 was included amongst the Fair Director's Picks.  In the same year she was invited to participate in one of Art on a Postcard's celebrated auctions, and more recently she was approached by fashion and fine art photographers Inez and Vinoodh to join Double Dutch.  An online charity gifting platform, her work features alongside the likes of Cindy Sherman, Gary Hume, Es Devlin and Lady Gaga.

In August of 2023 Karen was selected as one of 10 Dubel Prize Finalists.  Devised to recognise emerging British artists, the Dubel Prize provides each of its Finalists with a solo event in London, and the opportunity to spend 12 months working with Red Eight Gallery.



Bizarre Beautiful Magazine, Issue 44


BBC Radio Norfolk

Bizarre Beautiful Magazine, 10 Year Anniversary Issue

Women United Magazine, Issue 3

Art Plugged, February

Create Magazine, Issue 34

Women United Magazine, Special Edition


Arts to Hearts Magazine, Issue 1

Women United Magazine, Issue 2

Modern Renaissance Magazine, September

Women United Art Podcast, July

The Huts Magazine, Issue 5

The Ministry of Arts Podcast

Absolutely Magazine, March

Places & Faces Magazine, March

London x London, February

Create Magazine, Five Year Anniverary Issue

Norfolk Magazine, January

Folk Features, January


All She Makes Magazine, Fall

Art Seen, Autumn / Winter


Portraits for NHS Heroes, Bloomsbury Publishing

The Artful Podcast

"The most incredible, in your face, bare (figuratively and literally,) honest view of beauty of the traditional female form that I have witnessed in a long time."                          Abbey Art Collective



Dubel Emerging Artist of the Year Prize, Finalist

Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, Finalist

Boynes Monthly Art Award, Winner

Arts to Hearts Emerging Woman Artist Award, Shortlisted

The VAA International Exhibition and Scholarship Prize, Shortlisted

Women in Art Prize, Longlisted


VAA Professional Artist Award, Winner

Art Fluent Evolution Grant, Winner

Women United Art Prize, Finalist

Theo Paphitis Art Prize, Finalist

The Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painter Prize, Shortlisted

The New Emergence Art Prize, Shortlisted

International FiKVA Award, Longlisted

Visual Art Open, Longlisted


The Institute of East Anglian Artists President's Prize, Winner

The Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painter Prize, Finalist

Women United Art Prize, Shortlisted, Special Mention

Selected Exhibitions


The Dubel Prize Finalist Solo Exhibition, The Libertine, London


Reactions: Society, Surroundings and Self, Fairhurst Gallery, Norwich

The New Face of Portraiture, Cromer Artspace, Norfolk

Sanctuary, The Leper Chapel, Cambridge

The Other Art Fair, London


Art Fair East, Norwich, Norfolk

Art on a Postcard - mini auction in collaboration with gowithYamo

The Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painter Prize Exhibition

Perfect Imperfection - online exhibtion with Women United Art Movement

The Shape of Us, Masham Gallery, North Yorkshire

The Weight of Expectations, online solo show with Women United Art Movement

The Other Art Fair, London

Raising the Bar, auction with Women in Art


Art Fair East, Norwich, Norfolk

Gaze - online exhibition with Arts to Hearts Project and All She Makes

The Marks We Make - online exhibition with The Curator's Salon

The Institute of East Anglian Artists Open Exhibition, Holt, Norfolk

The Absent Gallery Spring Open, Online


Healthcare Heroes, Portraits for NHS Heroes, online

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