Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Portfolio: Heather Carol

Portfolio: Heather Carol

Drawing inspiration from current social culture, history, mythology and literature, as well as from her own experiences as a disabled, lesbian artist, Heather Carol’s painstakingly intricate egg tempera paintings explore her personal coming out journey through a myriad of symbolism. For example, taking from Celtic mythology, in Journey of a May Femme (2016), the fox symbolises passion, the beech symbolises knowledge, and the birch symbolises renewal and new beginnings. At first glance, one sees just a woodland scene – animals, foliage and maybe a face – but look closer and, beneath the surface, emblems begin to appear: a double-headed axe, lambda, interlocked Venuses, the international symbol of access (or wheelchair symbol)…

Often taking more than 100 hours to create, Carol’s paintings employ the technique of sgrafitto (scratching into the surface of the gesso panel) to create texture – a method she has adopted to suit her needs. Her medical condition, Myoclonic Dystonia, causes tremors and involuntary movements, leading to paralysis and impaired hands. While looking at her finished work, the effort involved is blatantly apparent, no one would guess this extra challenge that has needed to be overcome.

A poet as well as a painter, Carol allows one artistic medium to feed into the other. In the poem to accompany the painting Carpe Diem (2016), she writes:

Have pride,
whether you are straight, bi, trans, femme or gay.
Carpe diem: seize the day.

This is certainly the motto by which she now seems to live.

Also published at DIVA online


Heather Carol
Carpe Diem 
egg tempera on a traditional gesso panel 
52cm x 52cm
Photo: Debbie Humphry

No comments:

Post a Comment