The Piers Feltham Gallery are delighted to present STILL / LIFE, the first exhibition of Caroline Paterson’s paintings.
Widely recognised as one of the UK’s most established designers, Caroline started painting as a pupil of Signori Simi’s Academy in Florence in her early twenties. Her focus on interior projects and her design work has led to a lifelong passion for celebrating colour and negotiating space. The desire to observe, draw and paint has always been of central importance to her.
‘Still’ and ‘Life’ - two concepts woven together in foundations of History of Art, are unravelled within this exhibition. The humble origins of the ‘Still Life’ genre faced re-evaluation towards the end of the nineteenth century. Artists such as Cezanne, and later, Ben Nicholson, understood how crucial such paintings were in providing opportunities for radical formal analysis. It is within this context that Caroline’s paintings can be understood. At the heart of this carefully selected body of work is a commitment to experimentation. Paintings and collages are combined, pencil and oils merge together in harmonious unison. Found materials, such as magazines and photographs, are absorbed into canvas or board.
Traditional vantage points and are duly subverted, for example, in Caroline’s Stump paintings. These can be read as an organic antidote to the traditional ‘vase of flowers’ motif and nature studies. One can consider works such as Dogwood as ‘log portraits;’ these discarded pieces of wood make for exceptional and esoteric studies.
There is a sly playfulness about Caroline’s Chair Series. While they may on first glance be seen to reference the jaunty angles and deep blue hue of Vincent Van Gogh, this series of work animates the solid mass of furniture in a committedly modern fashion. Collage, for example, introduces a photographic element; evident in their shuttered and stuttered compositions.
Caroline’s inspiration over the last three years, and the body of the work on display, has been strengthened through working with Adam Roud, whose sculptures are included in the exhibition. Caroline would also like to acknowledge Christian de Ferranti and College Arts for helping realise her ambition for this solo exhibition.
Foreword by Olivia Paterson