Karen Zalamea's practice has developed through the lens of many disciplines, mainly photography, video, and installation. Her process involves a hands-on material engagement with image-making, from photographing studio constructions to the material handling of photographic objects. She is interested in the possibilities of the photographic surface and the subsequent relationship between its object manipulation and its optical representation.
Zalamea's practice embraces a range of analogue and digital photographic processes. Through various projects, her work continues to consider what constitutes a photograph, how images can contain evidentiary traces of process, and how meaning is shaped between lens, light, space, and surface.
She studied at Concordia University (MFA) and at Emily Carr University of Art + Design (BFA). She is the recipient of several awards, including the inaugural Sylvie and Simon Blais Foundation Award for Emerging Visual Artists. Her work has also been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council, and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
Zalamea’s work has been presented across Canada and internationally in solo and group exhibitions and as public art projects.
She is an instructor in the Audain Faculty of Art at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
She lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.