We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


To see or not to see



  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    inkjet print on 300gsm Hahnemühle paper
    30.0 × 196.35 cm image; 40.0 × 206.35 cm sheet
    Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Art Collection Benefactors 2022
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Karla Dickens/Copyright Agency

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    Artist information
    Karla Dickens

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    From her home on Bundjalung country (Lismore, NSW), cross-cultural Wiradjuri woman Karla Dickens works in a wide range of media, unflinchingly interrogating subjects such as race, violence, gender and injustice. To these strong topics she brings an exquisite sensitivity and a black humour in equal measure.
    Around the same time she was preparing ‘A Dickensian Circus’ for the Biennale of Sydney (and now in the Gallery’s collection), Dickens was invited, as one of six NSW women artists, to contribute a proposal for a sculptural panel for the Gallery’s historic facade.
    This inkjet print was part of Dickens’ winning concept, alongside a hood crafted from vintage tea towels (‘In the hood #8’ 2017, also now in the collection).
    Dickens says the hoods depicted in the print – and the sculpture commission – speak of enforced invisibility and act as reminders of some of the worst agonies of recent Aboriginal experience. ‘The work’, she says, ‘is about women and invisibility … the legacy of Aboriginal women today.’ The final commissioned work will be, she adds, ‘important to me, and to my mob from northern New South Wales, to have this chance to speak.’

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

Other works by Karla Dickens

See all 13 works