Karmel recently finished his MFA by research at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, which concluded with the exhibition and publication of his thesis: The Drawing of Bodies and Things. Previously, Karmel graduated from the ANU School of Art in 2008 from the Printmedia and Drawing department with first class honours. He has had solo exhibitions in Sydney, Canberra, Perth and Melbourne and has been involved in numerous group exhibitions. In 2009 Karmel underwent a residency at Megalo Print Studios under the Emerging Artist Support Scheme, as well as winning First Prize at the M16 Drawing Prize, in 2010 he was selected as a finalist in the National Portrait Gallery’s National Youth Self Portrait Prize, in 2012 spent 4 months in Perth to undertake a residency at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts with the resulting work being exhibited in a solo show at Paper Mountain Gallery.
Karmel has worked with print, drawing, painting, video work, performance and installation, however the last four years have seen Karmel focus on an extended inquiry into the nature of drawing— using drawing as a tool to make enquiries into the relationship between observation, representation, and readability of images; and the phenomenon of perception and embodiment. Starting in 2013 Karmel began to present participatory drawing experiments in which the audience is invited into the process of drawing through exercises that utilise methods such as blind drawing, tactile and haptic communication, and followed movement. Recently, however, Karmel has expanded this ongoing enquiry to include sculpture and the use of hand tools, extending the participatory experiments to work with clay. Karmel has also recently developed an interest in practical traditional hand tool woodworking, tool making, and furniture making, a discipline that is proving to intersect with his conceptual fine arts practice than might initially be expected.
The MFA project, The Drawing of Bodies and Things, was heavily influenced by theoretical, historical, and conceptual readings of representational and observational drawing as described by Deanne Petherbridge and John Berger; phenomenological concepts of self, perception, embodiment, and being as described by Maurice Merleu-Ponty and expanded upon by David Michael Levin; and recent neuroscientific understandings and neurophilosophical concepts of the transparent self-model and internal simulated world-model as described by philosopher and neuroscientist Brian Metzinger. These considerations continue to inform Karmel’s practice and ongoing inquiries into his capacity to communicate embodied experience and create ambiguously readable representations of bodies and things.
More of Karmel's work can be seen at rkarmel.com