Archive for August, 2017

Caroline Yates: inspiration, influences & artistic life

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We are very much looking forward to hosting Caroline Yates’ solo show in September and took some time to meet with her and learn a little about what makes her tick…

Red Carpet Red Shoes 90x120

Red Carpet Red Shoes

What made you decide to become a painter?

Although I studied printmaking and printed textile design, all my work was very painterly. In fact, I sold most of my portfolio of ‘designs’ as paintings when I graduated from the Royal College of Art.

That was 22 years ago and I started painting seriously more or less straight away via some illustration work

Describe a typical day in the studio…

I’ve normally dumped everything the day before to run to school at the last minute to pick up my children, so the first thing is to clean brushes from the previous day, generally tidy up, organise my paint colours and prepare fresh palettes. This gives me a bit of time to think about my day.

I usually have more than one painting on the go so that they can dry adequately between layers, then I’ll choose which one (or more) is ready to work on.

Sledge with Lovers

What influences your work?

Colour is so crucial. I have had years of colour theory education and this is probably my principle criteria for a successful painting. In my eyes, a well-executed picture can be irritatingly wrong if the colour isn’t working!

I think an awareness of interior design and colour trends influences me whether I like it or not!  I am interested in unusual spaces, textures and pattern and my own house has been photographed for magazines.

Printmaking techniques also inform and appear in some of my work.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I work from old cinefilm and Super8 film found on the internet, and any found imagery to do with memory in the form of newspaper cuttings and books capturing things like nostalgic school days, family holidays, influential events.

I moved to the coast eight years ago and have been quietly introducing the sea, painting en plein air.

Before going to art school I worked in an investment bank for seven years in the city. It was a creative vacuum, though I am now influenced by uniform, suits and identity and semiotics created through dress.


What has been your most memorable moment in your artistic career so far?

I was fortunate enough to have a painting accepted into the Royal Academy summer exhibition this year, it was the first time I’ve entered and has inspired me to enter more competitions!

What are your most rewarding moments as an artist?

The most rewarding has to be having a solo show in a gallery like Hicks Gallery; seeing a body of work completed over many months, coalescing as an exhibition is challenging and ultimately a relief to get it done on time!

Do you buy art and which artists you admire?

I’m fond of twentieth century artists like David Park, Richard Diebenkorn, William Scott and Antoni Tapies alongside contemporary artists such as Louise Balaam, Tom Hammick, Kurt Jackson, Paula Rego and Chloe Lamb.

Earlier in the year I travelled to Edinburgh to see an exhibition of the late Joan Eardley. I see a lot of shows, and have my favourites but haven’t bought a lot of art.  My most recent acquisition this year was a painting by Arthur Neal. (My tip for buying art has to be the ‘Own Art’ scheme – it’s a fantastic way of enabling people like me to buy what is an expensive, luxury item and pay for it in instalments.)

The Road Out

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?

Where you show your work is crucial. Choose the right gallery to represent you, with work that fits with your own and other artists you respect.

Your upcoming show is titled ‘Palimpsest’ – where did this name come from?

I rub off, erase or paint over areas of some paintings, followed by scraping into or disinterring imagery underneath. Some pieces have been completely covered in a new layer, revealing traces of previous paintings.

The word palimpsest means recycling a document or script that may have glimpses of the previous document showing through.

This show differs from previous in that my work has shifted trajectory over the past two to three years, becoming more abstract, yet straddling both abstract and figurative camps. Intentionally, my painting language has expanded, emphasising drawing and mark-making, printing techniques, with more emotion invested in each piece.


Palimpsest: a solo show by Caroline Yates

29th September – 27th October 2017


In focus: Bobbie Russon

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We are proud to be showing the captivating works of Bobbie Russon and earlier this month we delved into her inspiration and subjects to bring her works into focus…

Bobbie Russon creates bold and moving depictions of predominately female figures, mapping a path of loss, awkward self-awareness and developing sexuality; she communicates her excruciating shyness as a child and the acute loneliness she felt.

Bobbie Russon, Fade to Black            Bobbie Russon, Hand in Glove            Bobbie Russon, The Stray

The subjects in her paintings are most often female as she draws on her own emotion and experience, “I suppose I use girls in my work, simply because that is what I know. I work quite intuitively, and the imagery and themes come from my own personal experience, feelings and memories, both as an only child to a single mother and as a mother to my two daughters and son. However, while I paint from a female perspective, the themes in the work are more generally about being human”.

Bobbie Russon, The Locket            Bobbie Russon, Baby Doll

Russon’s paintings are charged with the unspoken curiosities within the young girls that they often depict – girls on the brink of becoming adults facing impending independence, the cultivation of a personality, tastes, opinions, thoughts…these children are about to leap into the world of adulthood and appear both vulnerable and brave. “My main source of reference is the ability to allow something from within to emerge as an image in my mind’s eye. I then try to capture that image / feeling on canvas. It inevitably changes and evolves in the process, which is an element of painting I really enjoy.”

Bobbie Russon’s paintings speak to the quiet, contemplative and solitary place in all of us. More as a metaphor for humanity than a literal interpretation, her work speaks to us on an emotional level, giving us time to stand still and reflect on what it means to be human.


Caroline Yates : Palimpsest

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“something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form”

A solo show from Caroline Yates 29th September – 27th October 2017

Private view Friday 29th 7 – 9pm


In this latest body of work Caroline Yates is making a transition from figurative work into abstract. She examines the developmental stages involved in the process, making a palimpsest of the works which lie beneath, as glimpses of hidden layers emerge through intaglio processes – the act of erosion reveals a stain or trace, uncovering or disinterring memories.

Caroline works from her photography in oils on canvas. Resources are comprised of found imagery, super8 or cine film of historical family holidays or entertainment, depicting an age of wistfulness and rudimentary equipment and clothing. Patterns and repeats feature in these works, smudged and distorted as time corrodes their accuracy – the imagery slips off the boundaries asking the viewer to consider an infinite roll of humanity rather than simply a picture confined to a canvas…

A Central St Martins and The Royal College of Art graduate, Caroline Yates also studied fine art printmaking at Camberwell before beginning to paint full time in 2000. Since then, she has exhibited internationally and this year her work ‘Home’ was accepted into the RA Summer Exhibition.

The crowd or gathering is a signature of Caroline’s work; depicting the shapes they form within a space, observing the relationships and choreographic patterns created, be it city commuters or other animals and their behaviour. She is interested in the anonymity of crowds; the security and comfort, or threat and menace of large numbers and the way we, as crowds, are sometimes unwittingly channelled or herded into spaces.


For further information on the show please contact the gallery at or 020 8944 7171.