Carol Peace


Biography

2013  Barcelona 6 Months SF Residency

2011  Patron RWA

2007  Co founded the Bristol Drawing School

2001-2002   Prince’s Drawing School, London , The Drawing Year

1989-1992   Winchester School of Art, B.A.Hons Fine Art Sculpture

Born 29th April 1970


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2016 Woolff Gallery, London. For slide show click here.

2015 Fairfax gallery, Tunbridge Wells

2014 Woolff Gallery, London. For online catalogue click here.

2012 Broomhill Sculpture Park 15th Anniversary Solo Show. For online catalogue click here.
2011 Fairfax gallery. For online catalogue click here.
2009 Galerie in Beeld, Netherlands

2009 Beaux Arts, Bath
2008 Paintworks, Bristol ( link )
2008 Fairfax Gallery, London
2007 Beaux Arts, Bath

2006 Retrospective Show, Paintworks, Bristol ( link )

2006 Fairfax Gallery, London
2006 Apple Europe HQ, London
2005 Artrepco, Zurich, Switzerland
2005 Northcote Gallery, Kings Road, London
2005 Beaux Arts, Bath
2004 Northcote Gallery, Kings Road, London
2003 Artrepco, Zurich, Switzerland
2003 Gallery 27, Cork Street, London ( link )
2003 Norton Gallery, Spain
2002 Artrepco, Zurich, Switzerland
2001 Artower Angora, Athens.
2001 Gallery 27, Cork Street, London
1999 Broomhill Art Gallery, Devon
1998 Abbaye De La Roe, France
1996 Burkhardt and Swallow, London
1994 Chilford Barns, Cambridge


 

Regular Art Fairs 

London Art Fair
16th - 20th Jan 2013. Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1. 
http://www.londonartfair.co.uk/

Art Palm Beach

25th - 28th Jan 2013. Palm Beach County Convention Centre, 650 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
http://www.artpalmbeach.com/

Palm Springs Fine Art Fair

February 15-17, 2013 - Presidents Day Weekend. Palm Springs Convention Center
http://palmspringsfineartfair.com/woolff-gallery/

AAF Hong Kong
15-17 March 2013, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre,1 Harbour Road. Hong Kong
http://affordableartfair.com/hongkong/visit/

Art Hamptons

July 11-14, 2013 Sculpture Fields of Nova’s Ark in Bridgehampton, NY
http://www.arthamptons.com/

Houston Fine Art Fair

September 19-22, 2013 George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX 
http://www.houstonfineartfair.com/
 
AAF Hampstead
13-16 June 2013 Lower Fairground Site, Hampstead NW3 1TH
http://affordableartfair.com/hampstead/

AAF Stockholm
3-6 October 2013, Frihamnshallen, Stockholm
http://affordableartfair.com/stockholm/

ART TORONTO

Friday October 25th to Monday October 28th, 2013October - Metro Toronyo Convention Center
http://www.tiafair.com/

AAF Singapore
F1 Pit Building No.1 Republic Boulevard Singapore 038975
http://affordableartfair.com/singapore/visit/

 

 

Collections of work held in

London
, Cambridge, 
Oxford
, Aldeburgh, 
Burnham Market,
 Sunningdale, 
Burford
, Tunbridge Wells, 
Bath, 
Sherbourne and 
Winchester

 

 

Commissions

2010     Commission for St.Josephs Convent, Hackney. Commissioned by APG Architecture. Life-size figure in bronze.
2009     Commission for Queens Marys Gate, London. Commissioned by Art Projects for Telford Homes, five life size figures.
2006     Commission for Crest Nicholson, Portishead. Life-size bronze couple on tall bronze plinth, installed on main entrance.
1999     Stone Carving Symposium, Columbia
1998     Commission for Woodland Trust, Bristol
1997     Commission for Artery, Ashton Court Estate, Bristol
1996     Madonna & Child commission, life-size sculpture for church, Keynsham, Bristol
1995     Commission for Taywood Homes. Three twice life-sized figures, Bristol

 

 

Me and Thee

An exhibition of Drawings in Colour and Sculpture by Carol Peace 2011

This new body of work has not only been created through clay but also through oil paint, always with an undercurrent of drawing. The oil paint is like the clay, it is slippery, moveable, the image is there and then it’s gone. It’s easy to pile on, scrape off, smudge, and draw in to. I seem to be sculpting like a painter and making drawings in colour.

For my degree thesis I looked at Rodin’s work and the theory of representing movement. I realise now, some 20 years later, that I had asked the wrong question, it’s not about representing or ‘capturing’ movement, it’s about trying to respond to it in an intuitive way. A new piece called Attempting Sirsasana is like a drawing of movement, rough lines and plains form quickly, areas are left blurred, only the essence is there.

The new pieces Him, Her and Them are raw because life is raw. Broken, cracked in places, deep scars run over the work but the deep ruts and scars reveal the form; reveal the life, the frailties and the power. I try to make the marks strong like using charcoal; there are areas of focus and areas that fade.

In the drawings in colour, the subject matter changes from the life room to the still life but in changing the objects I see more clearly my interests. When I draw cherries they are in love, in a painting of tomatoes their shadows nearly touch. Peaches rest their soft flesh on one another for support, which gives over time.  Bright happy lemons jostle with blue shadows. A lone tomato is still attached to its family tree, they are not present and yet always there. In something ordinary there is often sadness and a beauty.

Relationships and our interaction with other people dominate us and in turn form the basis for much of my recent work. The extra ordinariness and magnitude of the simplicity of the touch of a partner, the closeness of love, it’s basic.

The work is about everyday life, in its minutia, the sheer fantasticness of it all. It’s about the flash of a look, a small gesture, the pressure of a hand in yours, of skin resting on skin. It’s about the rawness and confusion of being alive, the beauty and the complications of it, the freedom, exhilaration and the insecurities. It’s about death and about life, the fear and the joy.

This is not to say that all this is apparent in a piece of bronze or a painting of two peaches but it is what I am aiming for and it makes me go to the studio.

Carol Peace
September 2011

 

 

Carol Peace studied sculpture at Winchester School of Art and drawing at The Prince’s Drawing School. She has obtained numerous commissions both public and private and solo shows in London, Athens, Zurich, France, Spain and Holland. In 2007 she co-founded the Bristol Drawing School and was the artistic director for four years.

She is a sculptor who could not work without drawing. The process of drawing, that intuitive response, is in part what she aims for in her work.  She sculpts in clay, which like charcoal is quick to make marks with, once finished it is cast into  bronze when those fluid marks of the making are then fixed.

 

 

Carol Peace’s figures inhabit an inner world of self-reflection. She derives her knowledge of the human body from detailed life drawings but when she models them in clay the figures come from her imagination reaching beyond mere depiction. With their delicately balanced forms and rock like plinths they invite the viewer to mediate on the human condition, the step from adolescence to adult hood or the vulnerability of a mother and child.
Elspeth Moncrieff 2007

 

Walking into Carol Peace's studio feels like arriving at a party in mid-flow. There seems to be people everywhere – some huddled close together and whispering, others striking a pose at various points around the room..
Of course, the sculptor is the only one living and breathing. Carol scampers busily from one side of the room to the other, attacking her working day with all the fretful bustle of Lewis Carroll's White Rabbit. The unflinching statues all watch her calmly..
Carol's creations have a poise all of their own – elegant and caressing, they weave around each other like a room of bronze and resin lovers. Beside the door, two larger-than-life figures tower over visitors. The piece, simply entitled Precious, depicts a couple sitting side by side, his arm holding her affectionately around the waist..
"It's all about that reassuring sense of feeling somebody else's skin," Carol explains. “Everyone wants to have somebody in their life that they can just be with – who they can just hold. I think that feeling’s pretty universal. That's precious to everyone.".
Carol pauses to look at the statue, before turning back to attack the job of tidying her studio. Moments later, she's up a ladder, working on a wire framework in the shape of a flowing dress..
"I’ve had this idea I'm experimenting with,” she explains from on high. "It may never come to anything, but I've got this image of people walking into a gallery and looking up at the dress from below.".
David Clensy 2008

 

 

Master Class Article published December 2007

You can view this article on The Artist website by clicking here.

Although fashion-conscious art buffs might regard figurative painting and sculpture as an outdated form of expression, it nevertheless continues to attract a strong following. In part, its sustaining quality comes from the fact that it is an accessible form of art – something that everyone can relate to. Unlike so much abstract and conceptual work, figurative art is not aloof, perplexing, remote or quasi-intellectual. And it does not need a label or catalogue to explain it.

Instead, as demonstrated in the wonderfully sensitive sculptures of Carol Peace, the best examples of figurative art can appeal to our feelings, to our empathy and understanding of the human predicament. For Carol, figurative work offers greater scope for individual expression, leading to more rewarding results. “I just feel I have more to say by using the figure,” she explains, “and I enjoy the various aspects and challenges involved – particularly in creating the form of each sculpture and in developing and using my drawing skills.

"My work has always been concerned with the human form and I have always used clay. I like the way that the mood of each sculpture is defined by the handling and texture of the clay. Rough textures and lines can suggest rhythms of movement, while detailed work creates a feeling of stillness and intimacy. I think in some ways using clay has similar qualities to the two-dimensional work that I do in charcoal and oils. For example, I might work quickly, as I would in charcoal, so that the forms are found, often changed over and over, and sometimes lost. And if I work the clay slowly, similar to how I use oils, the work is less impulsive and more precise. I cast each piece in bronze or iron resin, and here again the patina, often dark in the low lights and light on the highlights, will help in determining the form and character of the sculpture."

Form and feeling

The themes and ideas that Carol explores in her sculptures are inspired principally by the way people behave and react towards one another, and additionally of course they are influenced by her own feelings and life experiences. In Allies, for example, the two standing figures convey the idea of companionship, friendship and support, and again in Precious, there is a feeling of closeness, of being totally at ease with another person.

Carol has always made life drawings, believing this discipline important not just for its informative value but because it heightens your observation and ability to capture what is there without tricks and gimmicks. She also paints portraits in oils, worked both from the model and photographs. Interestingly, while the life drawings are not a direct preliminary to making sculpture (which is always imaginative rather than shaped from working drawings or models), they are vital to the creative process. “It’s like practising your scales if you are a musician," she says. "If I ignore drawing for a while, then my sculpture really suffers; it becomes quite laboured and I struggle to find the form. But after a series of drawings I feel really empowered – I feel I could potentially do anything.

"Although I always begin with a particular idea in mind, the concept and form for the sculpture can change dramatically during the working process. So in fact, the final piece owes more to my response to what is happening as I handle the clay than it does to any preconceived idea. Occasionally I start by making a maquette – usually when I am working on a commission – but I never work from drawings. I think this would inhibit the freedom and creativity necessary in making the sculpture.

"Instead I start straight away with clay, building an armature and quickly establishing the general pose of the figure and the basic shapes and forms. But even with the armature in place the attitude and scale of the work isn’t necessarily fixed. With a wire armature I can bend it into a different position, and if it is a steel one I might decide to remove some of the clay and grind or cut the armature to enable me to modify the pose. A standing figure can sometimes develop into a reclining one; a single figure might need a companion.

"At first I work quite frantically, running around and adding great lumps of clay to the figure, sawing parts off, and so on. But gradually the process slows down and towards the end I seem to be spending hours and hours on small areas and details. For a large sculpture the initial clay modelling stage may take more than two weeks to complete. The clay figure will then stand in my studio for about three months, and I will occasionally assess it and do some further work on it, continuing in this way until I am completely satisfied with the result. I normally have three or four sculptures in progress at the same time. The clay form is kept moist by spraying it with water periodically and wrapping it in polythene sheeting.

Limited editions

"I leave the clay to dry to a leather-hard state and then the figure is ready for the casting process. The first step is to apply a coating of liquid silicon rubber, after which I add a thixothropic agent to the rubber solution and gradually build up the surface to a thickness of about an inch all over – perhaps more for the larger sculptures. Next I assess how best to divide the three-dimensional form into removable interlocking sections, and these divisions are marked out with clay strips.

"The whole form is now covered with a fibreglass jacket. When it is fully catalized (hardened ), the fibreglass is removed and the rubber sections pulled off, during which process the clay is usually destroyed – so this is always a very tense time when you hope the moulds are perfect! Then the moulds are reassembled to give an exact negative copy of the original form. I used to do all the casting myself, but now I take the moulds to a foundry. The sculptures are either cast in bronze or iron resin, which is a fibreglass resin with iron powder added to it.

"Mould making is definitely a skill in its own right. It is a crucial part of the working process, although because it is essentially a technical process rather than a creative one, and also quite time consuming, there can be a temptation to rush it. However if, when you remove the mould, it is damaged in some way, or is not true to the original clay sculpture, there is actually nothing you can do about it – the sculpture is lost and all the work has been in vain! Fortunately this has only happened to me once, when I was at art school and tried to cast something in cement and did not know enough about the process."

Carol’s bronze sculptures are produced in limited editions, usually of nine pieces, and the iron resin figures are made in an edition of 25. As well, because she likes the idea of sculpture being accessible to a wide range of people – not just the wealthy – she makes other, more affordable pieces, in bigger editions. And she also occasionally works on a commission. "With these, it totally depends on the client," she says. "I naturally prefer a brief that allows me plenty of freedom, rather than one that is very prescriptive.

"But what I enjoy most is working in my studio at my own ideas. It is the clay that I love, together with the process of changing something so fluid and fragile into something that will last forever. I am really happy with the notion of figurative work and where this stands in the art world. Commercial success and acclaim doesn’t concern me unduly; I just want to be really good at what I do!”
Robin Capon