I’ve been lucky enought to know some very talented and creative people over the years. One I actually had the pleasure of working with (in fact she was my boss) is textile artist and educator, Karen O’Shea.
Karen’s latest achievement is winning a commission from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Cardiff & Vale Health Charity to create an exciting textile artwork to celebrate Pride 2022.
Her vibrant and colourful textural artwork celebrating people’s life choices will champion and support the health board’s inclusion agenda through its Arts for Health and Wellbeing programme and will go on tour around Cardiff and Vale.
Karen has plenty of other projects on the go – she’s working on several how-to videos for culturalcwtsh.wales, a new online creative wellbeing resource for health and social care workers (or anyone else who fancies a creative lift).
With a passion for sustainability and the power of creativity for wellbeing, Karen uses recycled and natural materials to inspire others to express themselves, regardless of background or ability. Over lockdown she led mental health resilience sessions for all ages.
She also teaches in primary schools and on 15 September  Karen launches a weekly art textiles course for adults on Thursdays at the beautiful Rural Skills Centre in Castleton, east Cardiff.
She’s teaching an afternoon masterclass on 24 September in Rhiwbina and will be fighting fast fashion at the WI’s event on Saturday afternoon 1 October at Llynfedw Gardens community centre in Birchgrove – both in north Cardiff.
Also Cardiff Open Art School (at Cardiff Metropolitan University) will soon be recruiting for her 10-week course on Monday evenings this autumn Intro to Stitch for Repairs, Making and Art Textiles.
A natural dyeing enthusiast, Karen is part of a team creating a new botanical dye garden at Cardiff Met’s Llandaff campus and welcomes others to get involved.
Her other green-fingered passion is growing large aeoniums which she sells, along with her stitched artworks in spring, summer and pre-Christmas at Tredegar House Food and Artisan Market held on the second Saturday of every month.
For more about Karen’s inspiration, her work and her art textiles classes, visit her website, Instagram, or Facebook page.
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