Caroline Walker

Born 1982, Scotland

Walker received a BA from the Glasgow School of Art 2000-2004 and then an MA from the Royal College of Art 2007-2009 and now lives and works in London. Walker was the recipient of a Dewar Arts Award in 2007, the 2009 Neville Burston Award, RCA, 2009 Tom Bendhem Drawing Prize, RCA, Valerie Beston Trust Award, RCA, 2009 and was shortlisted for the 2010 Threadneedle Prize. Her work has been previously selected for the John Moores (2006) and Jerwood Contemporary Painters (2008). She has exhibited widely across the UK and abroad. Recent exhibitions include solo exhibitions at: Marlborough Fine Art, London, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest and Ana Cristea Gallery, New York. Her work will be exhibited at the Prague Biennale in May 2011 as part of an exhibition of British Painting curated by Matthew Price.

Located in a place between reality and fiction, Walker’s work plays with constructed narratives developed through collaboration with life models at different locations or ‘sets’, exploring the relationship of women to domestic space.

The repetition of structures, mirrors and furniture contain the figure, playing with a veiling or multiplication of the body through architectural space and light, undermining the traditional hierarchy of the figure as ‘subject’ while strange, often vertiginous viewpoints challenge the position of the viewer. Objects operate as both points of art historical reference and banal domestic paraphernalia, while a sense of artifice or disguise seen in the actions and dress of the figure reinforces the fictive painting space in which narrative is implied but not made explicit. These actions are used to explore the female figure as a projection space for investigating ideas of a preconceived feminine subject. The figure in the resulting works is definitely involved in some performative task, though this is not prescribed, rather fabricated or staged through the painting process, which both subtracts and adds information from the original scene.

The work both rests within and draws from a history of the female subject in painting, but is reconsidered through a female gaze, re-examining the traditional artist/model exchange.

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