Karen Mills lives and works on Larrakia Country in the city of Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia. She is a descendant of the Balanggarra people, of the Oombulgurri and Forrest River Aboriginal Reserve, in the East Kimberley, Western Australia.
Mills’ practice investigates identity, connection and disconnection with her Aboriginal heritage and the timeless relationship Aboriginal peoples maintain with their ancestral country despite recent histories of dispossession and displacement. Her abstract paintings are generally landscape-based, inspired by her experience and memory of country. These works capture a sense of the rich history and survival of Aboriginal culture concealed within the ground.
Mills was a participating artist in the inaugural edition of The National: New Australian Art, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, in 2017. Mills was a finalist in the Guirguis New Art Prize 2019, at the Ballarat Art Gallery, Ballarat and has been a finalist in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards, at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, in 1998, 2004 and 2008.
Her work is held in collections including the Australian Catholic University, National Gallery of Australia, Charles Darwin University, Parliament House of Australia, RMIT University and private collections nationally and internationally.