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16 Lost Souls.jpg
Karen Salter
Blue Skies Ahead

March 2023 - July 2023

Sofi's Lounge, Level 1, Sofitel Melbourne On Collins

A cloudless blue sky signifies freedom and optimism for many of us. The skies depicted in this group of

paintings aim to do just that. As artist Karen Salter explains;

These works continue my exploration into notions of place, culture, history, nostalgia and design from my

lived experience as a second-generation Jewish Australian who has spent most of her life living in the

epicentre of Jewish life in Naarm/Melbourne’s inner south-eastern suburbs. Depicting mid-century

modern homes located close to where I grew up and still live, these paintings intend to evoke feelings of

nostalgia and optimism through their compositional and colour references to 1960s postcards.

With two sets of European grandparents, and childhood friends experiencing similar upbringings, I saw

people forced to leave long established homes, businesses and relationships reap the rewards of hard

work and persistence undertaken in a new country. My grandparents created comfortable, stylish homes

filled with custom designed furniture and art. There was an appreciation of beauty and craftsmanship


Many of the homes built in the 1960s in the Naarm/Melbourne suburbs of Elwood, St Kilda East, and

Caulfield (North and South) were the result of collaborations between Jewish clients and European trained

émigré architects influenced by the Bauhaus movement. These homes were, and those still standing are,

symbols of survival, prosperity and hope. They were built with the best materials the clients could afford;

often simplified, functional forms with crazy paving, stonework and decorative wrought iron providing

‘interest’ and a sense of luxury. Large windows allowed light and the blue sky to be brought into the

interiors creating a sense of space and freedom - a new modern way of living.

Instagram: @karensalterart

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