Kareen Adam is a Maldivian visual artist and art organiser based in Narrm (Melbourne), Australia. Her work explores the complexities of living between cultures and countries by addressing notions of home, belonging and cultural identity. Kareen has a diverse art practice that includes printmaking, drawing, painting, digital media and video. Her visual language is heavily influenced by the colours, patterns and shapes of her life in the Maldives, and the Maldivian socio-political landscape.Her current work focuses on critiquing colonial mechanisms embedded in the construction of tourist representations of island destinations. This examination led to a multi-disciplinary artwork titled "Real Holidays Travel Agency Ptv Ltd" in 2020 which subverted tourism marketing mediums (including a website) to create a space for broader interpretations of tourist island destinations.

Kareen is an active advocate for Maldivian artists which has led her to curating and directing art events both in Maldives and Australia. In April 2021 she curated the first exhibition of Maldivian artists titled "Here, There, Nowhere", centred around the connection to their home island - Male'. The exhibition was shown at Blak Dot Gallery, in Melbourne, Australia. She has also collaborated with the South Asian Avant Guard Anthology (SAAG Anthology) to present a showcase of Maldivian artists on their online platform (May 2021). Kareen has worked as the co-director of the Maldives Whale Shark Festival (2015), gallery manager for Kids in Mind Art Gallery, Mater Child Youth Mental Health Service, Brisbane (2009-2013), amongst other collaborations with artists and NGOs in Maldives and Australia. She has exhibited her art in Maldives, Brisbane, Melbourne, Hong Kong, and the Asia Pacific region, and was one of the 15 artists in the award-winning visual art project Locked-In (Fringe Festival 2018), curated by Kimba Thompson of Blak Dot Gallery, Melbourne.

Kareen completed a BA(Hons) in psychology from University of Queensland, following which she switched pathways to the arts completing Master of Creative Industries from Melbourne Polytechnic in 2020. She is currently a PhD (Fine Art) Candidate at the Wominjeka Djeembana Lab at Monash Art Design and Architecture Faculty, Monash University.


Solo Exhibitions

2022 Whoes IsLand Is it Anyway?, Wandering Room, Brunswick
2020 Real Holidays Travel Agency Pty Ltd, street exhibition, Collingwood, VIC

2015 Stuck Between Rock and an Empty Space, Melbourne City Library, Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC2014 Prints by Kareen Adam, Jazz Cafe', Male', Maldives

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022  Barreeng Yirramboi, MADA Gallery, Monash, Caufield
2021 Here, There, Nowhere, Blak Dot Gallery, Brunswick, VIC
2019 Circular: The Summer Show, Blak Dot Gallery, Brunswick, VIC

2019 Blak Dot Artists Market, Blak Dot Gallery, Brunswick, VIC.
2019 Small Works Art Prize, Brunswick Street Gallery, Brunswick, VIC
2018 Blak Dot Artist Market, Blak Dot Gallery, Brunswick, VIC
2018 Emerge, Brunswick Street Gallery, Fitzroy, Melbourne, VIC
2017 Maldives Festival of the Arts 2017, National Gallery, Male’, Maldives
2017 The Dodgy Art Show, The Stockroom, Ringwood, VIC
2017 Little Pieces - Works in Miniature Art Prize, Muse Contemporary, Lismore, NSW
2016 40x40 Art Prize 2016, Brunswick Street Gallery, Fitzroy, Melbourne, VIC
2014 The Art and Craft Bazaar 2014, Male', Maldives
2012 Petrichor - Graduate art exhibition for Diploma of Visual Art, Southbank Institute of Technology, QLD
2011 The Round Up, Art Factory Gallery, South Brisbane, QLD
2011 Impress Printmakers’ Annual Members Exhibition, Circle Gallery, West End, QLD
2010 BGS Small Works Art Prize 2010, Brunswick Street Gallery, Fitzroy, VIC
2010 Convergence/Divergence: International Prints Exchange Exhibition, Hong Kong Graphic Arts Fiesta 2010, Hong Kong (various venues)

Curated Exhibitions
2020 Wilgefortis: Contagion & Wilgefortis: [r]Evolution, online exhibition

2020 JUNKHORIZON, Maldives Coral Festival 2020, Avahteri Gallery, Thulusdhoo, Maldives

2018 CRITICAL MASS: LOCKED-IN, Blak Dot Gallery for Melbourne Fringe
2018, Brunswick, VIC (Fringe award winner)

2016 Disrupt 2016 – An Exhibition of Print Culture, Jugglers Art Space, QLD

2012 Vie de Pacific - Pacific Life (2012-2014), Pacific Perimeter Print Exchange, touring exhibition, Australia & abroad 

2012 Outstanding Emerging Artist in the Diploma of Visual Art Graduation, SBIT, QLD
2010 Highly Commended Award, Green Dragon Art Award, QLD

2017 Artist in Residence at Lismore Art Space (One month), Lismore, NSW, Australia
2015 KRACK Printmaking Studio (One week), Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Industry Experience
2015 Curator, (OTHERS): Exhibition on the Lives of Migrant Workers, with Transparency Maldives, Maldives 2015 Co-director, 3rd Annual Whale Shark Festival, Maldives
2014 Artist, Fundraiser 2nd Annual Whale Shark Festival, Maldives
2014 Creator/Maker ‘Kudaingili’ – hand printed, handprinted products
2013 Creator/Director/Organiser Kokaa Foakaa Cinema and organised one of the first Maldivian fringe film festivals
2012 Fundraiser, Petrichor, SBIT Dip of Visual Arts Graduation art exhibition, Brisbane, QLD
2011 Curator, The Round Up, group exhibition, The Art Factory, South Brisbane, QLD
2011 Co-organiser, Impressions 6, Impress Printmaker’s Annual Members Exhibition, QLD
2011 Volunteer exhibition curator/installation, ‘Adventures’ QPILCH Homeless Persons & Refugee Art show, Riverside Center, Brisbane, QLD
2010 Volunteer exhibition installation and de-install, Green Dragon Art Prize, St George Bank & SBIT, Brisbane QLD
2009-2012 Gallery Coordinator, Kids in Mind Art Gallery, South Brisbane, QLD
2009 Volunteer gallery attendant, artist assistant, ARC Bienniale of Art, Artworkers Alliance, Brisbane, QLD

2018 to Current Master of Creative Industries candidate, Melbourne Polytechnic
2009-2012 Diploma in Visual Arts (part-time), Southbank Institute of Technology, Brisbane, QLD
2006 Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD
1997 to 2001 Bachelor of Arts, Honours (Psychology), University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD