“Companions” by Catherine Tomkins
Catherine Tomkins is an Irish-born, Vietnam based artist. She graduated from the Crawford School of Fine Art with a BA in Fine Art, in 2010.
This particular series is an exploration of the figure, the female figure to be precise. They take shape slowly. Catherine never has a strict composition or ideology in mind, or at least in the forefront of her mind. There is a particular method to her process and practice and that is a wondrous thing and that is the time when she is attempting to be really open and in tune with the hidden inner world of people and the subconscious.
Some of these pieces are a celebration, some a mourning, some a study of anxiety, but they all hold one common thread; exploration into colour, form and emotion.
When she was working on these pieces, she started simply with a specific colour palette. She is fascinated by how the medium of watercolour allows for a nuanced yet fluid form which never ceases to surprise, and morphs into something more concrete as time goes by and the work progresses. There is a layering of colour and shape that takes place, and finally delicate mark making with ink and nib or graphite that brings the piece together.
Though they often start as being quite abstract, a figure, or figures always emerge, always manifest themselves. They find their shape as if by themselves.
Painting is a way for me to explore the form, colour, the psyche and in this series the female gaze. It is the ultimate meditative practice for me, a time to delve into something deeper than Catherine can express with words. That is why she paints, she can express that which she finds impossible to do so in any other manner.