Associate Lecturer, Drawing BA(Hons)

Karen Abadie is an artist, educator and researcher.

She is an installation and moving image artist working with video and analogue film and sound whose films and installations have been shown both nationally and internationally. She employs the materiality of analogue film to articulate ideas of the body, both in the context of human and non-human agencies. In her artistic enquiry, she is interested in articulating hidden issues that are becoming increasingly prevalent in society, through an embodied practice. She works with themes of mental health, loss, domestic abuse, creating environments that call audiences to their body, through immersive haptic media. Consequently, she is attempting to subvert the language of ‘mental health’ by bringing attention to our bodies. Karen prefers to install her practice in non-gallery spaces such as with Inner Wilderness (2015), which was a multiscreen installation in a burnt-out church in Devon, and Behind Closed Doors (2017), a multiscreen installation in a domestic environment also in Devon. 

Karen’s films have been shown internationally and she has been commissioned to make a series of artists documentaries. Commissions include, Made of Rainbows (2015), a commission by Health Watch Devon to reveal the difficulties that young LGBTQ people experience in the health service, Whispers of the Heart (2016), commissioned by a homeless charity in Torquay, to reveal the challenges young homeless people from the area face and Nature and Knowledge (2016), commissioned by Exeter Library this is an exploration of our relationship with libraries.

External Links

Karen Abadie headshot

Contact details



Year Qualification Awarding body
2012 MA Fine Art University of Plymouth
2006 MSc Change Agent Skills and Strategies University of Surrey

Membership of external committees

Associate Fellow, HEA

Research Interests

Research interests and expertise

Karen’s theoretical interests are subjective research, using autoethnographic methods and phenomenological, feminist and new materialist methodologies. 

Karen’s current research includes Dialogues of Disorder II, which is a collaboration with Dr Tom Baugh, from Falmouth University and The Birgit Rausing Centre for Medical Humanities in Lund, Sweden exploring the meeting point between scientific and artistic research methodologies, and Abjectification, which explores the Abject in the human and non-human body of Swamps, with Dr Scott Davidson and Dr Nichola Harmer, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth.

Research topics

  • Subjective research
  • feminism and material feminisms
  • The Abject Body
  • Embodiment
  • Phenomenology
  • Mental Health
  • Analogue film
  • installation practice

Professional Engagement

Engagement with professional associations and societies

  • Association of Medical Humanities
  • The Birgit Rausing Centre for Medical Humanities in Lund, Sweden
  • CAMP, Contemporary Art Membership Plymouth