Karin Dando graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a B.A. Fine Arts (Hons) in 1982. Thereafter, she studied under Stanley Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris, at the International Sommerakademie fuer Bildenden Kunst in Salzburg, and at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunst in Vienna from 1983 to 1985. She began exhibiting on group exhibitions in 1981, primarily in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Knysna, Austria, Taiwan, Paris and the UK. Since 1986 she has held six solo exhibitions, both in South Africa and abroad.
Dando says of her work: In my work my intention is to disconcert by means of destroying all certainties and giving lie to every absolute statement. Through the intermeshing of space and time, of different levels of reality, of imagination and actuality, nothing remains beyond doubt. Nothing can claim a general validity. One assertion discredits the other. This goes beyond the endeavour to demonstrate the artificiality of art. Every painted figure, whether abstract or objective, is in a false relation to reality, yet true within the scope of art.
This applies to form as well as to subject matter. By placing contrary themes side by side and giving them equal value, there is no unequivocal possibility of interpreting the paintings’ subjects. These contradictions, a method used by Picabia, Magritte, Salle and Jasper Johns, where a figure may be abstract in form, in content, or in both at the same time and its meaning may vary, are pictorial collages whose individual parts may in themselves be meaningful, but whose interrelationships remain incomprehensible. The watercolours, opposed to the canvases, are much more intimate and force the viewer up close, urging an emotional response, that of the voyeur. Who is observing who? The watercolours have set the groundwork for the future canvases.