Updated: Oct 29, 2019
We'd like to introduce you to our Artist of the Week and brand new Berry Artist, Catherine Halligan-Jolly! Catherine is a self taught, expressionist artist who was born in Kenya. Catherine also lived in Basutoland and Cape Town. At 15, she emigrated to Perth with her family.
Catherine is represented by CJ at Artful Deposit Gallery, New Jersey. Catherine hopes to move people with her art and express herself through imagery.
How long have you been an artist?
I have always been surrounded by art. My grandmother on my father’s side painted in oils and my mother painted beautiful images on china. Even as a little girl in Africa I loved art and especially colour. When I had my son Sasha as a single mother I spent so much time at home that I was able to begin to paint in earnest.
How did you get involved?
I became involved in painting because I had such a strong desire to paint and express myself. I have always loved Impressionism and Fauvism and wanted to paint my own paintings. I didn’t wish to have art lessons or study formally as I wanted to find my own style and way.
Have you entered any competitions or exhibitions?
I am an Artsource member and I entered my painting “Sweet Dreams” into their Galvanise Exhibition, held at the Old Customs House in Fremantle which ran from December 2018 to January 2019. This year, I have just entered a portrait painting, into the Lester Portrait Prize and I will have three paintings in the Churchlands Art Exhibition from 25th of May - 26th of May.
What do you love about art? What is your motivation?
I love that art expresses emotion and moves people either by its beauty or because of its content. To quote William S. Burroughs, “I want my painting to literally walk off the goddamned canvas, to become a creature and a very dangerous creature. I see painting as an evocative magic, and there must always be a random factor in magic, one which must be constantly changed and renewed."
How would you describe your style?
I am an Expressionist Artist, Painting with acrylics on canvas. I want to express the emotional experience of being alive rather than the physical reality. I want to move people with my art that is why I like it to be quite raw and naive, outsider art. “Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comfortable."
Who/what are you influences?
I have always admired and loved the Impressionist and Fauvists. In Australia I have always been very much taken by Charles Blackman. People have told me that my paintings remind them of Frida Kahlo. I think it is because we have similar depth of feeling in our paintings.
What are some of your favourite personal works?
Some of my favourite personal works are: "Dead Birds" after pondering upon past failed relationships. "Two of Us" after thinking about friendship and people who are kindred spirits. “Many Faces” capturing the many faces that people present to the world and in private. Then there is “Turn Away” of a strong woman turning away from it all with a purple trench coat and flowing red hair and is in the Artful Deposit Gallery in New Jersey USA.
What is your creative process?
I start to have a feeling, opinion about the world or emotion that I need to express. I will start to see in my mind the image of what I what to capture on the canvas and then I set out to create that. I continue until what I want is before me…
What are your goals?
My goal is to keep painting and stay true to my art. I would like to get my paintings out into the world through exhibitions, awards, and being of course part of Berry Art. But I do not want to compromise on my Art …
If you are interested in seeing more of Catherine's art, click this link here to view her full portfolio on our website.
Be sure to check out our other Berry Art Artists of the Week here and our Berry Blog here for art tips and information. Follow us on Instagram @berryart.australia, Facebook BerryArt and LinkedIn Berry Art Australia.