Apollo
Interviews

In the studio with… Caroline Walker

15 April 2021

Caroline Walker is a Scottish painter whose works, often large-scale oil paintings, depict women in domestic situations or at work – in nail bars or hotels, and most recently in shops and cafes near her studio in north London. Her latest exhibition, ‘Nearby’, is at Grimm Gallery, New York (until 1 May), and her paintings will be shown at KM21 in The Hague later this year (28 August–29 November). She recently joined the roster of artists represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery in London.

Where is your studio?
In a small building of Victorian workshops in Islington.

What do you like about the space?
It opens directly onto a courtyard, so in the summer I have the doors wide open and the sun streams in.

What frustrates you about it?
It opens directly onto a courtyard, so it’s difficult to keep dirt, slugs and spiders out.

Photo: Peter Mallet; courtesy the artist and GRIMM Amsterdam | New York

How messy is your studio?
Not very.

What’s the weirdest object in there?
Currently, one of my daughter’s cuddly toys, which shakes violently when you touch its hand.

Which artistic tool could you least do without?
Apart from the paints and brushes, I’d say my straight edge.

What’s the most well-thumbed book in your studio?
Peploe, Degas and Cassatt are at the top of my book pile right now.

Raabs IV (2021), Caroline Walker. Photo: Peter Mallet; courtesy the artist and GRIMM Amsterdam | New York

What’s your typical studio lunch?
Either a roll from my favourite bakers, or something at home, which is just round the corner.

What do you listen to while you’re working?
It veers between Radio 4 and Kiss FM with the odd audiobook thrown in.

Do you ever sleep in your studio?
Only when I was pregnant and would have an afternoon nap under a bubble wrap blanket.

Is anything (or anyone) banned from your studio?
My dad – his jacket seems to be a magnet for cadmium red oil paint!

Paula (2020), Caroline Walker Photo: Peter Mallet; courtesy the artist and GRIMM Amsterdam | New York

‘Caroline Walker: Nearby’ is at Grimm Gallery, New York, until 1 May.

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