Collection Four headliner Chloe McCarrick is an internationally acclaimed artist whose beautiful mixed media pieces in blues and golds celebrate historical, ground-breaking women whose success was not recognised at the time
How do you describe your work?
Female empowerment is a recurring theme running throughout my work, constructing visual narratives from the lives of extraordinary, trailblazing women – celebrating their achievements, uncovering their struggles and chronicling the stories of these often unsung (s)heroes
I use a variety of traditional photographic and alternative processes and camera-less techniques combined with painting, illustration and collage. My current practice also includes photograms, chemigrams, gum printing and experimenting with different substrates such as silk and ceramics
Freedom and experimentation were key factors in developing my personal style. Through rule-breaking and blending art forms and techniques, I take inspiration from traditional approaches to image-making with a contemporary technological twist. The result is a fusion of art, photography and science
What would you say are your greatest influences?
It’s as much who and what in equal measures. I’m inspired by themes of natural history, influential women and science
By creating an army of ‘sheroes’ I'm attempting to give them a voice, to transform their stories into symbolic, pictorial form. In turn, I hope these protagonists' positive message empowers and inspires others
From an early age I immersed myself in books. My love of historical research and scientific experimentation has always played a pivotal role in developing ideas. The history of the Natural World, Anatomy and Science Art has always fascinated me, and their interplay has always been a major focus in my work.
I focused on using cyanotypes after revisiting my research on British botanist and pioneering photographer Anna Atkins. Atkins used cyanotypes to document algae specimens for her scientific reference books and in the process established photography as an accurate medium for scientific illustration.
It seemed a fitting tribute to use a light sensitive process pioneered by a female scientist and fellow photographer to create my series of inspirational ladiesI’ve always been attracted to the kitsch, the whimsical, the macabre, the sentimental, the magical and the humour within our world. Oh - and the tiny people I saw on a step when I was four years old…!
Who do you have in mind when you create your work?
My portraits are chronicles of enquiry, aiming to start conversations without boundaries and appeal to intellect and human emotion. I make my work to be inclusive, for everyone to enjoy, without walls or barriers. It's a way for me to forge human connections and to be the start of a story for all to enjoy
I work a lot with interior designers and clients on bespoke works for projects both private and commercial, and at least half of my collectors are in the USA
I have a large LGBTQ audience
What makes your art different, special and irresistible?
My unique portraits have a distinctive painterly characteristic made by embracing technological advances in large-scale negative printing whilst staying true to the purest and earliest forms of photographic techniques
I examine complex interactions between human experience, environment, materials used, light and time, combined with deconstructing and reconstructing images to create intriguing, surrealistic stories
My work explores the boundless possibilities of image production in the age of modern printmaking with an aim to reinvent, recycle, redefine, experiment, preserve and celebrate processes
Each piece is constructed from scratch, fabricating the paper or porcelain foundation, starting the life cycle, building up the layers. I hand-finish my pieces with
precious and chemically treated metals to enhance the textural quality of the surface, revealing hidden details and creating an evolving luminous landscape
All works are housed in hand-crafted circular frames. Each one is float-mounted to showcase the circular organic form of the handmade paper, the unique texture, the surface undulations and rough deckled edges. Each piece casts a silhouette, an ever-changing shadow landscape dependent on the angle of the sun or light source
What do people say when they see your portfolio? How does your art make them feel?
I’ve been told my visual storytelling ignites imaginations and rouses a curiosity in the viewer to delve deeper and discover more about the lives of these remarkable women
Collectors often comment that the work brings them great joy. They feel connected to the stories when they look at the pieces, and are constantly discovering new elements, symbols and details hidden within the artwork
My work evokes very strong emotions of connection, joy, wonder, sadness, strength, love and above all a feeling of empowerment. I’ve had a lot of people saying buying my work becomes an addiction: once you have one you’ll keep coming back for more because they love learning about the stories of these inspirational women
What do you think motivates people to buy your art? How does it appeal to the heart?
It’s all about connection and the power of sharing stories to empower others
People connect to my work on a variety of different levels. It might be a certain field that one of the featured women works in, the narrative, the message, the symbols, the process, the techniques, the way the frames are made
My art is a rich and resonant means to honour the lives and legacies of women whose individual and collective accomplishments have enriched our lives. The idea is to pass on these stories to the viewer, their friends and hopefully future generations
Thursday 21st July - An Evening with Chloe Mc Carrick - Tickets now on sale