Hampstead-born Hermione Carline is an English painter and mixed media artist. She studied Fine Art at Camberwell School of Art and followed with an MA in Textile Design at the Royal College of Art. Carline’s first career was as a textile designer, working with designers such as Ralph Lauren, Pierre Cardin, and Christian Dior. She turned to fine art in 2004, and has since exhibited regularly in London with her work held in collections across the globe.
Drawing inspiration from her own early influences as a textile designer, along with travels in Japan in 2013 and 2016, Hermione Carline explores themes of translucence and opacity informed by the use of screening and light in traditional Japanese architecture. She distils the transient quality of light into shards of colour and white spaces in her paintings, capturing the ever changing dynamic between light and dark.
Carline's process is one of continuous transformation - layering and obscuring colour almost to the point of destroying the painting. Abstract yet firmly rooted in the material world, the resulting pictures can be seen as the faint impression of a memory, leaving much to the imagination of the viewer and allowing for new meanings and interpretations.
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“My work as an artist is about my own experience, evoking the feeling of light passing through an open window, or a fleeting moment, or a memory of a room. Memories of my family home can act as a catalyst for my paintings so they can be seen as an act of remembering or retrospection, leaving much to the imagination of the viewer. It is not about pinning down the time or place but about hinting at it or conveying a sense of it.
Hazy, opaque and layered, I use sequences of translucent layers as if they are refractions dancing over a landscape or the play of light on skyscraper windows. I use white as a structural tool in much the same way paper screens are utilized within Japanese architecture. The blocks of white are never solid and often allow a glimpse at the colour just beneath, creating passages of paint that seem to recede into the surface of the painting.
In contrast, my tonally dark paintings show a different dynamic within my body of work: one that is more concerned with shadow and concealment. My process when making the darker paintings is about discovery through destruction and I layer dark pigments almost to the point of obscuring all light as I build and sculpt the surface of the painting.
There is a three-dimensional quality to the work reinforcing the idea of moving into the world of the painting itself. I imbue the work with an immersive and atmospheric quality by using the varying viscosities of paint. Drawing from the shapes and forms of the natural world as well as the varied architecture of my native London, I am able to create work that is abstract but also firmly rooted in the material world.”