Caroline works across a number of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture and print-making. She draws inspiration from the movement and fluidity of the female form, moments of intimacy, contemporary perceptions of women’s sexuality in the current cultural sphere as well as notions of gender, fertility and motherhood.
We love your work, and have been inspired by your prolific creative journey over the years. Do you have any advice for others (artists or not!) on how to get motivated and achieve goals?
Back yourself and make the time to build and explore your art practice (or your passion). I think sometimes the hardest part of art-making is often prioritising the time to actually begin, create and take that leap of faith. Ask yourself what it is you would like to achieve and aspire to with your art – is it a goal to become a full-time artist, are you interested in gallery representation or would you like to represent yourself? Where is the ideal place you would like to exhibit your work? Have those questions in the back of your mind but ultimately, just dive in and begin.
Feminine identity is a recurring theme in your art and something we are always addressing at Shjark as designers for modern women and their evolving needs and point of view. Have you found your work over the years has influenced your own sense of self and identity?
I think more so my own sense of self and my identity has informed my art, rather than my work being the influencer. My work is quite personal and I tend to draw on my life experiences as a woman, lover, artist and mother as inspiration for the works I create. For me personally, motherhood in all its glory and chaos has really underscored the importance of connection, touch and emotional intimacy, I have a deepening curiosity about the ebb and flow of relationships through the various stages such as parenthood. I can see these musings of mine filtering down into the themes I’m exploring in my work - notions of intimacy, sexuality and human connection continue to play out in my work as I continue to grow, learn and evolve as woman and gain a better sense of my truest self and my identity.
How has motherhood influenced and shaped your work?
My experience with pregnancy, birth and postpartum has connected me with my body and sense of self in profound and really complex, beautiful ways - and certainly these experiences have informed the figures and forms I create within my artworks. The art I’ve created since becoming a mother to my daughters has focused on depicting the varied experiences of motherhood - whether it be the joy, hope or fear that rises to the surface as I navigate caring for them whilst also growing and developing as a woman and artist.
Many of us in creative roles often require a juggle of left and right brain focus which can be really challenging. What do you find to be your most effective way to break creative mind block, get inspired or to move through creative procrastination?
I like to think of these moments as less of a creative block, but rather a moment of pause. Reflecting back on what you’ve created in the past can be a really good way to take stock of where you’ve been and allow yourself to consider what may or may-not have been working for you – looking back to look forward. I think as creatives we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to continually churn out newness but I think those moment of stillness and reflection are equally as important as those moments when we are actually making, doing and creating. One of my very favourite things to do is head to the national gallery or visit the state library and return to art from our history – it helps me get out of my own head and provides limitless inspiration.
Have you had a season in life where your work has challenged you the most, and how did you overcome that?
The practicalities of being a mother of two young girls has brought about the most significant challenges related to time (or lack there of!). I’ve needed to become much more structured in how I approach my art-making, whereas before I had a much more organic art-making schedule. These days I allocate 4 days in my studio which is 10 minutes down the road, working 9 – 3.30pm on each of these days to ensure I am giving time to my career and my art. I think ultimately this type of structure has helped to separate the blurriness of family life with my practice and allows me to be more focused when I am with my girls or conversely when I am painting.
Do you have a go-to outfit or signature daily style that makes you feel most confident?
My style is understated, streamlined and uncomplicated. The pieces I am drawn to tend to have oversized, modern silhouettes with dresses being the main type of piece that I tend to wear day to day. Over the years I've moved away from trends and bold colours and am instead drawn to quality pieces in natural fabrics and fibres such as linen and cotton in tones of black and neutrals.
What's next for you, any exciting plans in the pipeline you can share?
I’m in the studio bringing to life a new body of work in oil. The paintings are large in scale and continue my exploration into the interior and exterior self. I’ll be exhibiting them at some stage in 2023 but the details are still under wraps. I’ve also just launched a side business called Studio Walls (@studio.walls), a fine art print destination with bespoke framing for contemporary interiors which I’m feeling excited about and looking forward to growing.