Lisa Catherwood Artist Statement
I am an artist and designer living and working in the north of Ireland.
I see colour and shape in the most mundane of places – as an artist my imagination is constantly drawing vibrant moving images on blank surfaces from the building blocks garnered from the swirl of milk in a teacup or the flight path of an insect around a window or the shape of clouds in the sky.
These waking dreams become paintings and drawings, tapestries and enamels, pyrography, textiles and painted ceramics. The artist explores fundamentals and feelings, the beauty in natural form, and the ability we have to find solace and meaning in the simplest hints of shapes and colour.
With a large, vibrant, past in paintings, my recent work gravitates towards using minimally processed materials, an organic art – paintings on hessian using paints I make myself from raw ochre pigments which I grind and mix in tiny amounts with poppy or linseed oil – and for the pyrography, raw local wood finished with natural shellac – I am always aware of where the materials originate, what the trees lived through, what history they saw, how the ochre clays were laid down millions of years ago. When I work with Firewriter I am reminded that wood is organic and was living, every grain line generates a different smell in the smoke. From the micro to the macro it is a visceral experience. Each smell creates a thought or a sensation or a memory.
My work currently is about loneliness and loss – In the end we are all just shadows walking away alone. The paintings are minimal and contemplative. Having discovered the Firewriter a new pyrography tool and a local source of the most gorgeous Irish timbers, the soulfulness and history ingrained in the wood infuses the pyrography with stillness despite the apparently hectic landscapes. I dream of burning the burns of dreaming.
I know the work is finished when the spell breaks, the fascination and anticipation finishes the symbiosis is ended and the piece stands alone.