'Painting the 'Non-Event' in the everyday, giving the unremarkable a presence and often acknowledging humanity through association.'

Carolyn Blake was born in Manchester. After a Foundation Course at Birmingham School of Art she studied painting at Canterbury College of art (KIAD) from 1971 - 74 and City & Guilds school of Art, London from 2008-09.

Between 1975 and 2007 her working life was devoted to art education, teaching in secondary schools in Birmingham and Bedfordshire and as head of department in three schools. In Birmingham she developed links with the College of Art, enabling art student placements in school, talks and exhibitions.

From 2007 she left teaching to pursue her own studies, with a year at Byam Shaw followed by an MA in Fine Art at City and Guilds School of Art, London 2008-09. Then began the creative journey, focusing on aspects of the everyday and its poetic elements. Her paintings are concerned with the suspension of time, allowing the image to live longer than a momentary glance, giving the unremarkable a presence, often acknowledging humanity through association.

Between 2015 and 2018 she took time out from painting to project manage and deliver a community led mosaic project through three market towns in Central Bedfordshire as part of a £4 million regeneration scheme.

She has been exhibiting regularly since 2008, exhibitions include Oxford Festival of the Arts 2024, Malvern Library 2024 & 2023, Beep Painting Biennial 2022, longlisted for Contemporary British Painting 2021 Swansea, Royal Academy Summer / Winter Exhibition 2020, Sheffield Fronteer Gallery, Ikon for Artists, West Midlands Open, New Art Gallery Walsall

In 2019 she began working on ‘The Unchanging Traveller’ series which is ongoing...   As a passenger she is contained within a non-space with a view through a train window. For her the fascination is the contrast of the manmade placed within the natural landscape. Passing at speed and recalling in a split second, makes one a neutral observer, allowing a momentary glance to be suspended. She continues to record the non-event in the everyday, bringing to life the inconsequential and non-memorable. What is glimpsed as a snapshot, be it a colour, a shape or a structure, is recalled in a split second and becomes suspended in time. 

A selection of ‘The Unchanging Traveller’ paintings have been used in a book of the same title, incorporating texts written by poets and poetry societies from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and London.   The 64 page book is available either from me carolyn@carolynblake.com or from The Ikon Gallery bookshop in Birmingham https://shop.ikon-gallery.org and also available are greeting cards with images selected from the traveller series.

All images © Carolyn Blake
Website by Thomas Watkins