Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information

Help us improve our prizes database. Contact us if you have more information.

Karen Black

Body shell
acrylic and oil on linen
157 x 126 cm
Further information

Body shell speaks to the myriad layers, which as women, we work to conceal in order to contend with the world around us. I see this layering as both psychological and physical. I myself have always had this external shell – my body shell – to protect my psychological self from the outside world. Living alone for the first time in my life, I have recently been compelled to peel back that outer layer and probe the substratum; the memories which have accumulated beneath. The numerous figures in Body shell are images of my various selves from across time which have emerged from this inward looking.

Karen Black, 2018