An ageing mother tidying up her living-room cupboard, midwives preparing for childbirth… Caroline Walker's cinematic paintings portray what any woman would recognise as the 'invisible hours', daily unseen and unvalued small tasks that carry huge responsibilities.
Her first exhibition at the Stephen Friedman gallery documents the life of her sister-in-law, Lisa, during her last months of pregnancy and first months of motherhood.
Walker's paintings feel quietly familiar. In one painting, we witness Lisa feeding her baby in the middle of the night. In another, we are in Lisa's garden, watching her through the door window as she walks back and forth in her kitchen comforting her baby. Maybe we are there with her, maybe we are reminded of our own experience as young mothers, elated yet lost in the blurred time of early-stage motherhood.
Walker's artistic process consists of living with her chosen subject, in this instance Lisa, and taking pictures of her daily tasks. Those images are then used as references for her drawings, and then eventually become large-scale paintings.
Walker explains that her works 'combine a factual record of something that photographs represent, and [her] memory and emotional response to being in a particular place or spending time with the people [she] paints.'
The intensity of first love, the exhaustion, the loneliness, the comforting routine and the mundanity of it all… Walker fleetingly captures those emotions, so elusive when lived, and gently managed to reveal the complexity of women’s position in society.
A gem of an exhibition.
|What||Lisa by Caroline Walker|
|Where||Stephen Friedman Gallery, 25-28 Old Burlington St, Mayfair, London, W1S 3AN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
29 Apr 22 – 28 May 22, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM