Photo: Caroline Watson in Bristol, South West

Caroline Watson


I work from imagination to create my own poetic vision of the world. Over time, I have developed a number of themes and characters, largely with origins in childhood, memory and dream imagery. My subject matter reflects my interest in, myth, folklore, history and magic and my characters express both the light and darker sides of human nature. At the root of my painting is a fascination with the human condition and underlying my practise is a deeper enquiry into the mysterious and attractive quality of the uncanny. I am particularly drawn to extraordinary people with special gifts and I frequently use archetypes for their powerful symbolism. Many of my characters are heroic or villainous, ambivalent and capricious. Death and disintegration are particularly pertinent themes which I temper, where necessary with humour. I aim to obtain a psychological balance between the light and dark elements of the work and to question accepted ideals of beauty. My recent paintings use the world of the puppet as a microcosm of our own, the colourful characters expressing both the best and worst of our natures. I have become increasingly interested in portraying psychological spaces, using dream logic and creating sets where the puppets can engage. In this way, my practise has naturally branched out into three dimensions and my recent work includes simple puppets and booth type constructions. I am currently combining these mediums more fully, creating mixed media constructions and photographic tableau. Alongside this work I am creating an installation piece called “Bessy Boudoir.” Bessy is a sort of alter ego who I have been painting on and off for many years. Made largely from recycled materials, including large amounts of salvaged blue damask, the work consists of a number of component parts including, small furniture, costume, photographs and mannequins, creating an intimate but unnerving space. read full statement

Location Bristol, South West
Activities Practice-based research
Artforms / type of project Drawing, Installation, Painting, Sculpture, Textiles
Tags memory, puppets, dreams, imagination, folklore, childhood, theatre, psychological space, states of being, uncanny

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