Approved: 30.07.2013

Carolyn Birchall


Approved: 30.07.2013
  • Location: Canterbury, South East
  • Artforms: Painting
  • Tags: watercolour, bee, death, sublime, vanitas, insects, wildlife, fledgeling, garden bird, wounded death sublime vanitas, fly, death sublime, wounded, sparrow, woodpigeon



    Artist Statement


    Artist Statement

    My work takes the form of acrylic paintings on heavyweight watercolour paper, always of poignant subjects that express fragility and vulnerability and through a tender and delicate rendering, restores strength, beauty and value.

    I am drawn to the melancholy of the deaths of small familiar creatures and create delicate images which speak sensitively on the natural cycle of life and death; the struggles of the living and the inevitability of their end. I have sought to record the moment of looking and feeling. My work does not simply reflect visual reality; it is about what is felt.  

     My visual language has developed through a consideration of intentionality.  I examine fragility through the instability of the wet surface and its effects on the marks made.  Blurring, dissolving, disintegration and softness, the unpredictability of natural forces and the disruption of the cohesion in the pigments, reinforce this vulnerability. With thinly painted layers I pull out the image using a combination of focus and withdrawl so that it hovers on the surface of the picture plane.

    In my work I examine the dialogue between line and space.  The unpainted areas of the page speak of borderless, boundless sublimity, their emptiness emboldening and strengthening the image.  Reciprocally; the image energises those empty spaces. The resultant controlled and macabre beauty traverses the line of the sublime.

    The audience is extremely important to me as my work explores the “dynamically dialogical space” between the viewer and the image. My aim is to not only to engage my viewer with the poignancy of what they see but also to show that through acceptance of their own vulnerabilities comes strength and fortitude. In other words, however well you plan for life it has a way of tripping you up and taking you on a journey you didn’t expect through trial and sadness. Of course we look for that which is cheering but to reflect on the darker side brings greater understanding of ourselves the world around us and our place in it. 

    CV & Education

    My Qualifications


    BA Hons. Fine Art, (Upper Second Class), UCA Canterbury

    Places I have exhibited

    Pilgrims Hospice Post Card Auction, Harbour Arm, Margate 2011 and 2013

    UCA Pop-Up Gallery, Chatham.

    ‘Survival’ 24th Jan - 21st March 2012

    ‘Evolution of Consciousness’ 30th March - 31st May 2012

    ‘Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, an exhibition’ 14th-28th July2012

    UCA Canterbury

    BA Fine Art Degree Show 2013 31st May - 7th July

    Threadneedle Prize Open Exhibition 2013 - my work was preselected

    Works on Paper Fair, Science Museum, London 6th-9th Feb 

    Where to see my work

    Lilford Gallery, 3 Palace St, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2DY tel.01227 63908 http.//