I am a contemporary artist, working from my studio in Llandysul, West Wales. I was born in Taplow, Buckinghamshire in 1965. I studied at Amersham College of Art and Design and Leeds Polytechnic (Metropolitan University), graduating in 1988 with a B.A. (Hons) in Fine Art.
The degree at Leeds Polytechnic was a mixed media course (painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, ceramics, performance art, creative writing and film). My main focus was life study in painting and I also experimented with metalwork (specifically mask making), installations and performance art. Cross fertilisation between other areas of the arts (dance, music, theatre and writing), has always been of huge importance to me and has given me the grounding for the artist I am now.
My first solo exhibition in 1988, was the result of a residency at Yorkshire Dance Centre in Leeds where I created quick paintings and drawings (and wire sculptures) from watching dancers Donald Edwards and Vilmore James from the Phoenix Dance Company (now Phoenix Dance Theatre).
The residency at YDC lead on to residencies in schools in Yorkshire and Oxfordshire and a commission for BBC Television. The BBC piece, titled ‘After Icon’ in collaboration with choreographer Beth Thompson and dancer Eddie Duncan. You can watch the piece via the link below:
Commission for BBC Television. ‘After Icon’:
I have worked with theatre companies, making masks and props and I have also designed and helped to build theatre sets.
Following a move to London in 1996, I took some time out of my art career to concentrate on a career in design project management. I resumed exhibiting in 2007, and soon after I joined Candid Arts in Angel, London, where I shared studios and group exhibitions. Since then, I have exhibited regularly in both solo and group exhibitions in the UK and Finland.
My series of silver birch paintings have won an award culminating in a solo exhibition at London’s Lauderdale House. My portrait drawing of Yan Spencer was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Art’s summer exhibition in 2013 and was the springboard for a two-year portrait-drawing project, originally inspired by David Hockney’s large-format drawings of Family, Friends and Best Friends, at Salts Mill where I visited in 1994. The project, drawings of my own friends and family who would come and sit for me for 3-4 hours each week, resulting in an exhibition of portrait drawings titled ‘Sitting Still for Cathy’ at Lauderdale House, September 2014. Later that Autumn I relocated to Llandysul, West Wales where my wife is from. Wales is now my adopted country and where I have found a sense of belonging, a sense of place.
In 2019 I reclaimed the term ‘Artivism’ as my work is very often concerned in raising awareness about social, political and environmental issues. I am an ambassador for causes I feel strongly about and strive to increase people’s awareness and perceptions through my art. Earlier in 2019 I donated a painting titled ‘Uprooted’ to a charity art auction in Manchester ‘Bid and Rebuild’. The auction, to raise money for two charities in support of refugees rebuilding their lives in the UK. ‘Uprooted’ started life as a Hexaptych in 2017, an artwork consisting of six panels, until I decided to separate the panels and frame them individually. It is important to me that my work can resonate with such causes and is an example of how you can take a simple idea about the root system of an oak tree and have a conversation about what roots mean to people and their lives. You can read more about this artwork and the exhibition in the ‘Blog’ section of my website Here
The themes in my work are constantly changing but the approach to my inquiries stay constant. You can read more about ‘My Work’ Here