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Catherine Anholt

I was born in 1958, one of eight siblings in an Irish Catholic family. My mother was a nurse and my father a potter. I was a quiet child and from the earliest age, I learned to escape the hubbub of family life by accessing my inner world. I would spend hours wandering alone through the countryside; allowing the beauty of nature to permeate my soul.



At this time I began to keep visual diaries, a habit which continues to the present day. I have thousands of these handmade journals, which allow me to process my feelings and memories. Many of my larger paintings grow from their pages.



My work celebrates the experience of being alive; of being a woman, a partner, a mother and a grandmother. Sometimes when life is hard, it can be a form of therapy. I’m interested in conveying the dappled quality of life; its fragility and transience.



Although I grew up in a tiny village in the Cotswolds, my DNA is 93% from Galway in Southern Ireland. I am convinced that the rhythms, colours and storytelling tradition of that magical place permeate my work. Our roots grow deeper than we know.



I studied at Falmouth School of Art in Cornwall, where I met my husband Laurence who is an author and artist. We then moved to London where I took my Master’s Degree at the Royal College. When our children were young I worked alongside Laurence, illustrating hundreds of books. Our son, Tom Anholt is also an artist based in Berlin, and his beautiful paintings are exhibited all over the world.



In my sixth decade, I have made peace with myself and my creativity and I am unselfconscious about what I do. Our home and studios sit high on a hill overlooking the sea in Devon.



Surrounded by nature, I am able to lose myself in my inner world, as I did as a child. I am currently working towards several exhibitions, including a one-woman show in Seoul, and I am blessed with more energy than ever before.



Painting is an elusive process which is hard to convey in words. All I can say is that when I am working well it feels as if I am a conduit for imagery which springs from a deep and mysterious place. Like dreams or music, the narratives are not necessarily logical or specific, so I am happy for people to put their own interpretation on what they see. I have noticed, however, that the work which generates the greatest interest, is that which comes out of the most profound experiences in my life – the birth of a child, the love of another being, or the passing of someone I have known. The universal stories, in other words, which weave humanity together like the threads of a tapestry.



When I am painting I feel like a child wandering wide-eyed through this dappled world. It is a journey without end. That is the fascination. That is the joy.


Courtesy of the artit’s website.