FESTIVAL OF CHICHESTER: While others holiday, Catherine works away!

Do artists have holidays? Chichester artist Catherine Barnes laments the fact they don't.
Outside painting sea normandy SUS-160615-084921003Outside painting sea normandy SUS-160615-084921003
Outside painting sea normandy SUS-160615-084921003

If she’d treated her two weeks in Normandy as a holiday, she wouldn’t have come up with the work she’s now exhibiting for the Festival of Chichester.

Seascapes will be at the Art for All gallery, Church Square, Eastgate, Chichester on Saturday, June 25, 9.30am-5pm; Sunday, June 26, 11am-3pm; and then from Monday, June 27-Saturday July 2, 9.30am-5pm every day.

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“I thought it would be a good idea to show some of my seascapes and shorescapes. I think I have just made that word up! But I like it! I accepted an invitation to exhibit at Art for All, and we thought it would be a good idea to tie it in with the Festival of Chichester.

“I have also done a lot of artwork on paper. I have just come back from two weeks in Normandy. But do artists have holidays? No! While others lounge around, I am drawing away desperately despite the cold and the rain and everything!

“I was drawing large expanses of sky and sea on the largest paper I could manage to take in our van. Usually in Normandy, I am on the Normandy beaches, and there is the connection with our south coast.

“But this time we were at the tip of Normandy, the bit where the Atlantic meets the English Channel, looking over at Alderney.

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“It was great. It was so dramatic. Apart from a few surprise cows as neighbours, there was nothing there apart from the sea, and I had the conservatory to work in when it was really inclement. So most of the work in the exhibition will be new stuff.”

Catherine admits there is a pressure as an artist always to be coming up with new ideas and new shows.

“It’s like an illness! It is like being some sort of horse pawing at the ground.

“Other people frolic around pools, but artists go thumping off with their sketch books. I tried the pool once and lasted only two minutes. I couldn’t work out how you were supposed to read while you were lying down!”

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But Catherine’s restlessness was art’s gain. “Art for All is a commercial gallery, and people do go in there looking for something specific, and it is in a nice place in Church Square with all the restaurants and cafes nearby, and then it tempts people in after lunch.

“They like to come and browse, so it will be a bit of an advantage for me, especially as it is a framing place as well. There is a huge variety of choice of frame there.”

Catherine, born in London, studied first at Folkestone and then Camberwell School of Art and then painting and history of art at Goldsmiths’ College. Working and exhibiting in London, she was a founder member of Greenwich Printmakers and worked at Kelpra Studio.

In 1984 she moved to Winchester where she established Juno Studio and was appointed a visiting lecturer in art history at the University of Southampton while continuing to be a visiting artist and lecturer at Southampton City Art Gallery.

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In 2006 she moved to a new studio in Chichester, where she is now based.

Catherine has participated in art fairs in Antwerp, Dublin and London and was selected for the DACS Kowalsky Gallery’s Romance exhibition, British Modern Masters and the Cork Street Open.

More details on www.catherinebarnes.com. Free admission.

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