Skip to main content
Monday 15 July 2024


22 April 2022 - 5 June 2022


Karen Williams ft. Kit Holloway

Karen Williams, Within, 2021.

Karen Williams’ installation in Umbrella’s Vault space acknowledges the nature and history of spaces such as grottos, secret religious vaults or portals to underworlds or otherworlds. Employing a diverse collection of found materials, the artist will transform the space into a giddy vision of grotesque loveliness - a lost or secret garden of strange, otherworldly objects and curios, interwoven into a magical landscape of lights and animations. Visitors are invited to make their own offerings from collections of materials provided in the space. The exhibition also features a soundscape by Kit Holloway. 

This installation will be presented in Umbrella’s downstairs Vault space. Please note there is limited accessibility, as there is one staircase leading to the room (or access via the rear door on Ogden St), then a step up into the room. Please call Umbrella staff prior to your visit if you would like to discuss your options and arrange a time to access the space via our rear door. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Exhibition opening launch 6pm Friday 22 April 2022. Full details here.

Karen Williams will also be presenting an Artist Floortalk 10am Saturday 23 April in conjunction with this exhibition.

Karen Williams' work is informed by her childhood growing up on a QLD island resort in the 1970s. A surreal experience of being a child in a constructed paradise with absurd kitschy elements; pineapple adorned tropical smorgasbords, culturally inappropriate costumed cabaret nights, neon painted reef dioramas and poolside cocktails. Karen studied art at TAFE and QCA in Brisbane in the mid 1990s. She moved to Magnetic Island in 1998 and began exhibiting regularly in Townsville and on Magnetic Island at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts and Strand Ephemera. In 2006 she acquired her first computer and began sharing and selling works internationally. During this time she was exploring the nature of "cute" and readings of facial features. On becoming pregnant with twins Williams found this "cuteness" physically nauseating. Her current work is inspired by material, memory, magic and play. Karen Williams is also known as Nora Gigney, and regularly collaborates with Kit Holloway, who has created the sound for this project. Nora and Kit work collaboratively as Squeak and Bubble.

COVID Safe Visits

Umbrella asks that visitors adhere to social distancing, visitor logs, and other COVID Safe directives and procedures as directed.

More COVID Information

Open Hours

Tues - Fri: 9am-5pm

Sat - Sun: 9am-1pm

Gallery closed Mondays, public holidays and during exhibition install weeks.

Follow our social media for updates.


(07) 4772 7109

408 Flinders Street,
Gurambilbarra (Townsville),
Qld, 4810 Australia

PO Box 2394,
Gurambilbarra (Townsville),
Qld, 4810 Australia

Send us a message here

Subscribe to Enews
First Name
Last Name
Email Address
Acknowledgement of Country

Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts respectfully acknowledges the Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun and the surrounding groups of our region - Bindal, Gugu Badhan, Nywaigi, Warrgamay, Bandjin and Gudjal - as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather, share and celebrate local creative practice. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first people of Australia. They have never ceded sovereignty and remain strong in their enduring connection to land and Culture.

Umbrella is a Dealer Member of the Indigenous Art Code. This means we are committed to fair and ethical trade with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and transparency in the promotion and sale of artwork. As a Dealer Member and signatory to the Code we must act fairly, honestly, professionally and in good conscience in all direct or indirect dealings with artists.


Umbrella is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments. | Umbrella is supported by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and receives funding from Creative Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund. | Townsville City Council is a funding partner of Umbrella's program.