Michelle Culpitt examines the work practice of Northern Territory artist Karen Mills whose paintings are inspired by the string bags made by the women weavers of Arnhem Land. Culpitt writes: "The articulation of her painterly vision is only possible at the nexus of her experience and influences as an Aboriginal woman in contemporary Australia, a place of both deep connection and belonging to country, and also disjuncture and dislocation from a nation in denial of its own history."
Karen Mills’ paintings have been included in curated exhibitions, group and solo exhibitions at Cross Arts Projects in Sydney, Alcaston Gallery in Melbourne and Karen Brown Gallery in Darwin. Mills has travelled internationally on several artist-in-residence and studio programs. She was awarded the inaugural Wenten Rubuntja Fellowship in New York in 2006 and a residency in Banff, Canada in 2003, specifically for Indigenous Artists whose background was one of separation from family. Current projects includes an exhibition at Cross Art Projects with Kittey Malarvie of Waringarri Arts, Kununurra where Mills has recently been an artist-in-residence painting alongside her family.