What Is Urban? at Brixton East

Karin exhibited her work In the Eye of the Beholder in the South London Women Artists exhibition What Is Urban? at the Brixton East Gallery from 26 February to 11 March 2015.

Here is a link to the SLWA website.


An open space by the Thames was landscaped with a retaining wall of sawn-off tree trunks running alongside a street that led to the river. The tree trunks had been vandalized: they had been burnt – hence the dark charcoal-black look. Here are the urban opposites: creativity to enhance the urban environment and actions to deface and destroy and yet through the later daubing of blue paint creating, by default, something oddly beautiful. I have tried to capture this process as well as referencing the proximity to the Thames.

In the Eye of the Beholder
Multiples of one photograph on sprayed MDF board
w 85 cm x h 116 cm
Framed under glass

Hastings Arts Forum Members’ Exhibition 2015

Karin exhibited at the Hastings Arts Forum Members’ Exhibition from 27 January to 8 February 2015. She showed one work that belongs to the Mill Cycle exhibited in solo exhibitions in London and the Bristol Watershed.


Close to Tower Bridge a Victorian industrial building housed the last working spice mill in London. Its alluring smells wafted down the narrow streets of Butlers Wharf. Inside the building, spice covered machinery, sacks and drums alike. In an immense semi-lit warehouse towering stacks of bales had escaped the drifting spice. But the light shimmering on the protective plastic sheets was as beautiful as if spice had wrought its magic transformation. While still photographing the mill, P&O announced that it would be closed within 14 days. Today the building is luxury flats.


Blue Plastic Sheets on Bales
w 93 cm x h 123 cm, framed under glass


Sequence of Change

Karin exhibited 4 works from her Bankside Power Station cycle at the Sequence of Change exhibition at the Hastings Arts Forum from 10 – 22 April 2014.


The completed image constructed from the multiples of 2 photos of rusting pipes, references  the relationship between the power station and the river water without which no electricity can be generated – hence the title cross currents.   Karin chose the landscape format for the completed image to create a ‘painting’ of the pipes that in themselves seemed like works of art.


Cross Currents
multiples of two photographs mounted on sprayed MDF board
w 152 cm x h 126 cm, framed under glass



Water Wheel
multiples of two photographs mounted on sprayed MDF board
w 125 cm x 125 cm


Hothouse Plant
multiples of one photograph mounted on sprayed MDF board
w 86 cm x h 116 cm


Karin took a photo of some small pipes. She noticed them as she negotiated the precipitous gangways that led deep into the building or up to below roof level. The tiny pipes struck her as a microcosm of this extraordinary world she was moving through: a mysterious dark unknowable forest of pipes of all shapes and sizes that not so very long ago circulated the life-blood of the power station and through the washing-down process had turned mushroom-colour. Using multiples of the single shot allowed her to convey the architectural quality of ‘levels’ (now solid floors in Tate Modern) and something about the quality of this de-commissioned building waiting to be re-born.


Multiples of one photograph mounted on sprayed MDF board
w 86 cm x h 116 cm


Download the Sequence of Change flyer format

Paper Bag

Karin exhibited at the Bermondsey Artists’ Group 30th Anniversary Exhibition at the Cafe Gallery in Southwark Park between 6 April 2013 and 21 April 2013.

The title Paper Bag is a play on the Bermondsey Artists’ Group (BAG), rag bag (the artists were free to choose their exhibit) and paper as the medium for the exhibition. Karin, to celebrate the BAG anniversary, selected works that reflect and reference Bermondsey’s history and the passing of time.


This work was created from photos taken in the P & O Spice Mill, Butlers Wharf, at that point threatened with closure and now defunct and luxury homes.

Studio shot of Industrial Poem

Industrial Poem
Multiples of one photo on sprayed MDF board
w 86 cm x h 116 cm
Framed under glass


Edward’s Manor House in Bermondsey, once a great house on the Thames, lies half hidden under a grassy hill to protect its remaining foundations. To link the two houses Karin photographed the fading flowerbeds of Hampton Court Palace and created from these photos her work Royal Vintage.


Royal Vintage
Multiples of one photo on sprayed MDF board
w 86 cm x h 112cm
Framed under glass


Royal Vintage at the private view

Please see press release for further details.


South London Women Artists at Bankside Gallery, 48 Hopton Street, London SE1.

The exhibition ran from 2 – 7 May 2012.  Works  were selected to show the diverse practices of the group.   Karin exhibited 2 works not previously shown:  About Boats and Ring Road.

Link to South London Women Artists website







About Boats
photographs on sprayed MDF board
w 88cm x h 118,5 cm, framed under glass


Ring Road
photographs on board
w 85 cm x h 116 cm, framed under glass

"Ring Road" and "Boat" at the private view


What Art Does? – Was Macht Kunst?

Karin was pleased to have been selected by Southwark Arts Forum to show work in this exhibition at the Volkshochschule Langenhagen, Germany. The exhibition was opened by the Mayor of Southwark and the Bürgermeister of Langenhagen.

Karin was asked by Southwark Arts Forum to give an interview for this exhibition. The film of the interview, which addresses the relationship between Art and Society, will be shown throughout the exhibition.  In this interview Karin also explains what it means to have chosen the ordinary photograph, which she takes herself, as her medium to ‘paint’, ‘draw’ or ‘sculpt’.

See Karin’s interview for the exhibition

Karin selected 2 works for this exhibition : Heavens Below from her Bankside Power Station cycle and Pigeon Hole from her Thames cycle.


This work was created from the multiples of 1 photograph showing a puddle and sludge on a concrete walkway. The puddle reflected the structure of the roof (still visible today above the turbine hall of Tate Modern). It also referenced both the innumerable metal grid gangways criss-crossing the cavernous interior to dizzying heights and the space and mood of the building that had come to the end of its life before its rebirth into Tate Modern.

Heavens Below

Heavens Below
photographs on sprayed MDF board
w 111 cm x h 115 cm, framed under glass

Die Organisatorinnen der Ausstellung Shirin Schikowsky und Annette von Stieglitz vor den Photogemälden Heavens Below and Pigeon Hole von Karin Wach aus Southwark

See on-line press report of the opening and the final image created


Karin showed her work In His own Image in the Bermondsey Artists’ Group’s Concretum exhibition at Dilston Grove, London from 10 to 27 March 2011.


In his own Image

In His own Image

In His own Image at the exhibition



The Power and the Glory

Karin was delighted to have been offered a solo exhibition by the Candid Arts Trust, Islington, London. This took place between 1st and 6th February 2011. Karin would like to thank Professor Dawn Ades for opening the private view and was honoured that Herr Cord Meier-Klodt, the German cultural attaché, attended.

The exhibits are of the de-commissioned Bankside Power Station before its conversion into Tate Modern and after the interior of this great cavernous building had been ‘washed down’ to remove asbestos dust. Resulting from this de-contamination process, every unpainted surface, every pipe had started to rust and looked like a work of art.  Karin took hundreds of analogue photos of a mere detail. From the multiples of one, rarely two photos she then created an abstract image. These constructed images, mounted on sprayed board, explore through their formal layout and content the complexity of the building,  its function and history that cannot be photographed. Images of machines appear to work; colours remind of age-old frescoes; pipes take on Romanesque forms linking the building to the great cathedrals of the western world; a puddle on a concrete gangway becomes an artwork on the floor, site-specific and testifying to the passing of time; pipes shape into the flowing river without which a power station cannot function.  Karin also wanted each artwork to achieve via the medium of a single photograph the quality of, for example, a drawing  (Gates), sculpture (The Turbine Triptych) or painting (The River).

There are some sixty artworks created over several years. Twenty-five of these were shown, as well as six experimental works unconnected with the Bankside Power Station cycle.


The Bankside Power Station, darkly lit and immense, seemed like an industrial cathedral. Karin decided on the formal element of the triptych to convey this quality and that the triptych would have to have as the central image the ‘turbine’. There was no one to ask and she had no idea where to find the turbine or indeed what it looked like. Then, deep in the bowel of the building, asbestos contaminated and closed to the uninvited, Karin stumbled on what she was then told were the turbine blades. She photographed a small section. From this shot and its multiples she created an imagined machine that in its detail is of the turbine. She placed it in the centre of this industrial altar. It is sufficiently not the turbine so that the viewer can have his own response. The completed abstract image has a beauty of its own.

Turbine Triptych
Three panels, two are multiples of one photograph and this centre panel multiples of two photographs, all mounted on board under glass.
Each 112cm x 82cm



The title refers to what is not in the photo: the river Thames at low tide. Instead I photographed the base of giant cylinders or pipes rising inside the tower.

The River
Multiples of 1 photograph on MDF board sprayed with car paint
H 168cm x w 118,5cm unframed

Multiples of 1 photograph on MDF board, sprayed with silver car paint
H 150cm x w 132cm framed


The single photograph is of a gate at the South side of the Bankside Power Station.  By repeating the same photograph I achieved a similar ‘concertina’ effect as well as the quality of a pencil ‘drawing’.

Multiples of 1 photograph on MDF board sprayed with car paint
H 117cm x w 87.5cm unframed