BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

13 November 2014

BBC Homepage

Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

Art and artists

You are in: Cumbria > People > Art and artists > Focussed on the human form

Mugshot (detail)

Focussed on the human form

Catherine MacDiarmid is a Kendal based artist who works from her studio in the town. Her work focuses mainly on the human form.

Catherine MacDiarmid is a Kendal based artist who works from her studio in the town. Her work focuses mainly on the human form.  Her portraits explore the peculiarities of facial asymmetry and expression, which she achieves through a process of photomontage. By taking close-up shots of sections of the face from slightly different perspectives she can distort appearances.  This montage technique is employed throughout her work. The displacement of images together, and into new contexts, and the fusing of subjects fascinates her, and gives her the scope to play with perception.

Catherine MacDiarmid

Catherine MacDiarmid

She has exhibited widely throughout Cumbria and nationally. Her work has been selected for show at both MAFA and the BP Portrait Award Exhibition at NPG.
Catherine is currently exhibiting at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal and Bellwood and Wright Fine Art in Lancaster. 

Catherine's most recent work is rooted in her experience of pregnancy and parenthood. She has recently exhibited a series of drawings which were preliminary facial studies, exploring the structure and shape of a baby's face by isolating it from the body, clothes and surroundings, capturing the most common and familiar expressions. She followed this with an exhibition of paintings which continued to explore these themes. A number of these can be found at the gallery on her website www.catherinemacdiarmid.co.uk.

"Catherine's paintings...are microscopic in their attention to detail yet their scale is monumental and they reach all the parts that cameras don't. They achieve a realness that can only emanate from passionate emotion and a painter's ability to articulate feelings with paint. She is herself part of the same figurative environment she paints. It is evident her baby came out of her body, and her drawings and paintings seem to be part of the same physical process."
"Like Lucien Freud (and she is in danger of coming pretty close) her art is very autobiographical and quite a lot about paint. There is a starkness about her work that lifts the imagery above mere representation and puts it firmly in the figurative as conceptual abstracted domain"
Dick Capel - project officer for East Cumbria Countryside Project, who has been involved with public art such as Eden Benchmarks, Andy Goldsworthy's Sheepfolds, and the Kirkby Stephen Poetry Path.

Words and pictures courtesy of Catherine MacDiarmid.

last updated: 19/08/2008 at 12:14
created: 22/06/2007

You are in: Cumbria > People > Art and artists > Focussed on the human form



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy