Karen Wilde is a qualified sculptor based in New Zealand who has been involved in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s creative arts community for many years. Wilde’s artwork often features themes around nature and ecology – examining the macro surfaces found along New Zealand coastlines and forests, while collecting site-specific organic materials for experimental surface treatments.

Artist CV

Material sustainability is important to my art practice. Being mindful of the resources I consume and re-inventing to reduce waste in our expanding consumerist culture. Exploring te taiao (nature) of Aotearoa is my favourite way to spark project ideas. If you can’t find me in the studio playing with mud and fire, I’ll be gathering inspiration and raw samples from natural environments.”

What’s New in the Toi Taiao Art Shop:

Karen Wilde holding her artwork: ceramic nature sphere with copper wire and blue patina
NZ artist Karen Wilde holding large Puia Volcano ceramic pottery

The introduction of a home-built Raku kiln and primitive pit firings in 2022 has allowed Karen Wilde to continue her experimental surface treatments. Developing mediums and objects through play while observing the many textures in nature, Wilde’s interest in organic chemistry in art and material sustainability produce unique and unpredictable surface results within her artwork.

Karen Wilde’s trypophobia mixed-media ceramics emerged from an award-winning ontological study of holes and their symbiotic negative and positive relationship with space. Underlying themes around cells, macro-organisms, fossils and organic forms are enhanced with experimental glaze and woven accents.

Wilde continues to explore the ontology of holes and material sustainability within her art practice. Her current works study spherical vessels with minimal openings. Simple in form yet often housing complex, textured configurations, they push the boundaries of glaze alchemy to create contemporary art objects with conceptual tensions. Founded on ecological studies of Aotearoa coastlines, flora and fauna – a hidden world of cause and effect emerges. Read more about Wilde’s current works under Exhibitions.

New Zealand Contemporary Artist