Karen Melvin was born in Michigan, U.S.A., studied Fine Art at the University
of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (B.A. Hons), England, lectured in photography at NewcastlePolytechnic and most recently at Cleveland College of Art and Design for 15 years, was three times advisor on photography for Northern Arts, and was a founding member and arts advisor for the environmental project, Ladycross Nature & Art. She was photographer in residence for the Middlesbrough 2000 Millennium Festival. She received a Northern Arts award and an A4E Lottery grant in 1996 for the project Fairy Tale, Myth and the Landscape. and a Visual Arts 1996 grant for The Four Winds Stone Circle, Northumberland.
Recent solo exhibitions include Constellation, Gateshead Library Gallery,
2002, All Heaven and Earth, Tom Blau Gallery, London, 2001, Pride, Middlesbrough 2000, The Dome, London and tour, The Seal Woman, Queens Hall, Hexham, 1997, and Real Art Tour. Group shows include the Houston Center forPhotography Print Auction 2000, Texas, The Egg and I, Key West, Florida, 2000, The Royal Photographic International Print Exhibition, Bath, and tour, 1998, The Claremorris Open ( 2nd Prize winner), Ireland, and tour, 1996-7, Frocks in the Cupboard; Life is a Series of..., The Buddle, Tyne & Wear, and tour, 1996, Who We Are , Women O94, Zone Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Technical: I use a large format view camera with movements and multiple exposures, exposing and processing the individual films to get a long tonal range (using the zone system) with lots of detail. I chose fibre-based papers that are silver rich, processing them in seven chemical baths with three separate washes, for delicate and rich tones with archival permanence. Chemical toning afterwards increases the dynamic range of the print and adds a subtle warm and cool colour contrast.