Artist, activist & storyteller
Karina Seljak’s paper-based artwork uses pure-pigment pastels to explore ephemeral expressions of the natural world. Each landscape, seascape, skyscape and abstract colour field drawing is a quiet yet bold reflection on how light and colour delicately interact with mountains, water and clouds.
The ever-shifting drama played out between light and landscape is at the heart of Seljak’s artistic practise, as she holds the paradox of our natural world’s overwhelming magnificence and the sense of peace found within in its transience.
Seljak’s creative practise has been rich and diverse in her exploration of mediums. After earning a double degree in Fine Arts (Fashion) and Business Advertising at Queensland University of Technology in 2011, Karina worked in Brooklyn’s hand-crafted food scene in New York, inspired by local provenance, heritage recipes and waste exchange. Seljak also has a history of working with natural dyeing of textiles including Shibori folding and draping techniques.
After completing Al Gore’s Climate Reality Training last year and hosting an Art as Action panel in Melbourne among other events, Karina worked with a team, including APIQ members Rose Feely and Gabrielle Quakawoot, to create Eye of the Future – a large-scale artwork at Peregian Beach questioning the government's ‘gas fired recovery’ response to the pandemic.
Seljak is currently based on the Sunshine Coast working on her company Seljak Brand alongside sister and business partner, Samantha Seljak. Seljak Brand imagines a world without waste, and makes things that are regenerative by design. In 2019, Seljak Brand was awarded Best Sustainable Design by The Design Files for the Closed Loop Merino Wool Blanket, which is recycled and able to be remanufactured at the end of its useful life.
When she’s not rethinking systems of production and consumption, Seljak immerses herself in South East Queensland’s resplendent natural beauty and collaborates with artistic communities on the Sunshine Coast. She hopes to continue exploring the role of joyful action in responding to the world’s climate crisis through sculpture and movement.
Photograph by Jennifer Hillhouse