After working for a number of years as a designer and art director at fashion and lifestyle brand agencies in New York and London, Caroline Walls moved back to her native Melbourne to pursue her own artistic practice. She tells It’s Nice That, “After ten years of working in the industry, I craved some creative autonomy and felt a real yearning to explore my own art practice away from the restrictions of clients and design briefs.”
Upon returning to Australia, she enrolled in a post-graduate degree in Visual Arts and embarked on a new adventure as a full time artist. “I certainly never dared to dream of becoming an artist, but it has been a really organic transition into art making and it’s a journey I’ve been most grateful for.” Her elegant and understated paintings celebrate all aspects of womanhood. With compositions made up of abstracted bodily shapes and emotive gestures, her figurative paintings initially came about through day to day discoveries.
Though Caroline’s work is definitively hers in its bold style and muted tones, she comments on the importance of growing as an artist. “I hope not to remain static with my work and I imagine my aesthetics will continue to evolve with me as my life experiences also continue to expand.” She goes on to say, “I’ve just given birth as well, so my relationship with my own body has shifted and I’m interested to see how this will inform my practice in the coming months.”
The artist works on several pieces at once. Working intuitively to communicate the wonders of the female body – curves, solidness, sensuality and all – Caroline works across multiple paintings to develop a broader narrative across many canvases rather than isolating herself to one painting at a time. “I generally know what I am going to paint before I put brush to canvas” she adds on the matter, “but I always leave room for movement and spontaneity.”
With a consistent intention to suggest rather than transcribe however, Caroline’s smooth paintings are more of an implication of femininity rather than a direct form of communication. Through a process of reduction, the abstract works hint at both the beauty and the burden of the female form. She “subtracts detail and simplifies form to create a highly abstracted yet hopefully gestural composition that, although streamlined, still hopes to achieve a sense of expression and vitality.”
And above all, for Caroline and her distinguished works, it is as much about the lines that she chooses to paint, as it is about the lines and curves she chooses to leave out.
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.