June 23rd, 2023Artists of the Central Highlands
with Eve Lamb
Armed with a personal attitude that “life is too short” Karima Baadilla (pictured above) ditched professional accounting to pursue her passion for art, and swapped life in the inner city for a tree-change at Clunes on the old central Victorian goldfields. She is now a multi-media artist whose prints create a narrative of everyday life, migrant identity and community that is fresh, vibrant and tends to bring instant cheer.
Eve: Hi Karima. It’s great to have artists like you enriching the community of Clunes with your work. How long have you resided in Clunes now and where did you shift here from?
Karima: Hello, thanks for reaching out. We came from the inner west suburb of Footscray and this past April it’s been two years now. Time sure does flies.
Eve: What attracted you to Clunes?
Karima: We got to know Clunes because of (local real estate agent) Angela Flowers actually. She was such a personable lady and speaks highly of our town of Clunes. When we actually saw it, we knew exactly what she meant.
Eve: How do you describe your artistic style? And how did you come to art?
Karima: I guess I would call my artistic style fun and a little weird. Haha!
I didn’t come to art the traditional way. I was a certified practicing accountant for about eight years before abandoning that. Long story, but basically life is too short not to do what you want.
Eve: I hear you are currently pursuing further studies at Bendigo. Can you tell us a little about that? What are you studying?
Karima: I have always loved studying; it’s an ongoing obsession of mine. Currently, I am pursuing my honours year in Fine Art, studying is a great way to enrich your art practice and learning the context in which my work sits in a wider realm of visual art.
Eve:What goals do you hope to achieve through your art at this stage?
Karima: The honours year is a research based degree, and I am working towards a mini thesis that scares the pants off me!
Eve:Which artists, current or past, influence your own work?
Karima: I love works by our First Nations artists such as Emily Kame Kngwarreye and the works of Rosalie Gascoigne (AM), the New Zealand-born Australian sculptor and assemblage artist.
Eve:What is your media of choice?
Karima: I am trained as a ceramic artist through RMIT, but my love is painting.
Eve:What do you find inspirational? Your subject matter of choice? … Why so?
Karima: Persistence and generosity are what I find to be inspirational, and people around me give me that all the time. People like (Clunes Neighbourhood House manager) Lana de Kort the way she gives to the community tirelessly, Marguerite Clancy who is a new(ish) friend of mine, who just finished her fourth(?) book and Christine Lethlean another Clunes resident who curates amazing exhibitions through Textile Palette.
Eve:Do you work in any other area besides your arts practice?
Karima: I am a bit of a bowerbird (LOL) I jump around. I was working for Renew Australia as an arts administrator and curator for about four years before I move to Clunes. Since then, I have dabbled with casual gigs – floristry, mural assistant, and teaching kids’ workshops.
Eve:Do you have any exhibitions or special arts events coming up that you would like to let others know about?
Karima: I am working to put more works through Boom Clunes with other community artists. Keep an eye out for ‘Dogs of Clunes’ merchandise!