http://www.cathylomax.co.uk

Understanding Painting Media has been a gold mine of inspiration for me – the artists we have been asked to research have opened up a whole new avenue of understanding and inspiration – particularly Cathy Lomax.  Looking at her work I discovered many ideas/concepts I would like to somehow assimilate into my own practice.

  • Noir Bags, Love cubes, reflecting work in mirrors, circular work – really interesting 3D presentation or installations of painterly work
  • Her work largely presents the human figure but with a contemporary ‘culture’ connection
  • intellectually very clever
  • She uses writing to complement some of her art (e.g. Gothic Tendency). Lots of the work online is also presented with some kind of narrative.
  • Edits and writes some of Arty and Garageland
  • Started Transition Gallery in 2002
  • She produces series of works
  • Her personal voice has a style but is incredibly varied – she keeps challenging boundaries and creating fresh ideas, views and concepts
  • She produces a prolific amount of work
  • Themed colour palette choices for each series
  • Uses thin paint and partial abstraction of form to create space in her work – the detail is all there but it is edited which keeps the images fresh and clear
  • Using literature as inspiration (e.g. The Count of Monte Cristo) for a group collaboration

In Film Diary http://www.cathylomax.co.uk/pages/film_diary/intro.html she writes:-

Everyday life is boring. This mind numbing drudgery needs to be punctured by episodes of escapism – events and situations encountered not in actuality but as an observer and then lived out within our heads. The most powerful and easily accessible escapist experience for most people is provided by film – 90 min slices of someone else’s life.
‘I decided to keep a diary of all the films that I watch, selecting one image from each to make into a small, rapidly executed painting, thereby providing a record of what it was that drew me in and kept me rapt. This could be viewed as one of those hugely un-scientific arbitrary exercises that artists’ indulge in. But as with any other recording of everyday events the choices that I make in watching one film rather than another says something about me and probably defines me at that moment in time as much as anything could‘.

This reminds me that I need to start creating my own line of credible enquiry alongside my coursework. Having listened to Michael Craig-Martin speak last night at the Royal Academy, I was really struck by the way he had dedicated himself to drawing objects that were around us in proliferation.  Here, Lomax is drawing a still from every film she watches, reflecting something not only of her own taste but of popular culture over the last 70 years and of an edgy vision of film makers and their ideas too.

I wrote to Cathy Lomax and asked her whether she would have any advice for me as a student artist.  She replied:-

The most important thing really is to create your own opportunities and be pro active – so organise shows, involve other people and keep up with what is going on in the art world.

As such I intend to start writing my own fanzine (inspired by the work in ARTY) and am hoping to bring other OCA students on board to create a collaborative effort.  I am really inspired to explore the symbiotic relationship between written creativity and visual creativity and the fanzine feels a great way of having the two together. More to follow….

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