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Carolyn Birchall



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. 


Crossing Point

Further Towards a Long Way


In Silent Loft

Just Begun

Folded into Pale Shade

Little Bird 2

Little Bird 1

Bee 2

Bee 1

Untitled (bird2)

Untitled (bird1)

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