In conversation with – Caroline Lumb

How would you describe your creative practice?

My initial reaction to this question was ‘Chaotic!’ Why – because I work with so many differing mediums – known as mixed media. So when I start a piece of work I have several options left open to me – which one(s) to choose is the question? I also paint on both canvases and on paper and to add to that some of my work develops into 3 dimensions – and that brings additional innumerable questions with it – to many to list here! I envy those artists who concentrate on just one or two mediums and feel that I should try and be the same…but then it wouldn’t be me!

What is the most asked question about your work?

There are two questions that are often asked about my work – one is ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ and the other is ‘How have you done that?’

Where do I get my ideas from? Well, anything and everything around me – visits to museums and Art Galleries; articles and images in newspapers; Magazines – on all subjects; conversations; photographs and just the everyday, unexpected.

How have you done that? Well, that’s where the range of mixed media comes in…using anything I can find from bought artist materials / mediums to everyday objects /materials – if it makes a mark it can be used. Then there comes the reaction when you start mixing the mediums – do they blend or do they repel? I am constantly experimenting and am always surprised with the result!

Cast Gallery, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Who or What inspires you?

Who inspires me? – Contemporary artists – not always main stream or well known – for instance if I go to an art gallery, it’s is usually a small one off the beaten track, where I find innovative, contemporary work. I do go to some of the larger museums to look at their artefacts collections, namely the V&A, the Ashmolean in Oxford and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. These provide inspiration, not only for the skill of the artisan but also from the objects themselves.

Work in progress

What are the benefits of being part of The Gallimaufry Collective?

Firstly I get to work with inspirational artists whose practice is very different from my own but whose opinion is invaluable. I look forward to our meetings for the next critique and to see what they have been working on – priceless! I am always inspired by what I see. The challenge of exhibiting together and the different skills that are required to put it together enable the best in team playing to come to the fore. When the exhibition is up and I see the work exhibited together, it is always cohesive and gives a great buzz of excitement and satisfaction. Lastly the companionship of the group is immeasurable – laughter, tears, fun, support and inspiration all wrapped up in one – I wouldn’t want it any other way!

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