A SNOWDONIA artist is using her talents to raise awareness of political situations around the world.

Karen Jones recently opened her Cilfechydd Barn studio gallery to the public at Waunfawr. The mum of three sons, has been painting for about 16 years. Over the years she has developed her work from still life and landscapes to promoting awareness of political situations and humanitarian crises. She paints everything from tigers, to highlight them being hunted to extinction, to work on Brexit chaos, to artistic and colourful critiques of modern computer technology with one painting dubbed “Password Hell!” One painting of a woman’s face behind bars draws attention to Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer imprisoned in Iran. It was seen by Nasrin on Facebook, and she sent Karen a message saying “thank you.”

Karen is originally from Felinheli and was a pupil at Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen in Caernarfon, and later trained at the Norfolk Painting School. She initially embarked on painting non-political landscapes, flora and fauna, developing her talents, using a technique incorporating texture using crushed slate, glass and a cold enamelling process. After developing toxic shock, when she became allergic to epoxy resin, she switched her technique to other mediums. An encounter with Kyffin Williams, who advised her against texture in her work, also help change her artistic direction. Karen said: “As an artist, I feel like I have finally found my voice. People say my studio is a paradise, but some of my paintings are about hellish topics. I like that sort of juxtaposition. I prefer my work to cast light on situations that help people become aware of what is happening in the world.” Karen’s work is also to be featured at this year’s Eisteddfod.