Lot 53 - Chloe McCarrick - Flora, Fauna and Fortitude
Original Papercut Cyanotype / Handmade Paper
Signed on Verso
Curated by Lee Sharrock
Chloe McCarrick is a London based photographer and mixed-media printmaker.
Initially studying fine art and art history, she went on to focus on photography, lens-based media and printmaking. After graduating from university, she moved onto lecturing in photography and interactive media. Working in further/ higher education for almost 8 years before embarking on a full-time career as a practising and exhibiting artist on relocating to London.
Best known for her circular cyanotypes, her work explores the boundless possibilities of image production in the age of modern printmaking with an aim to reinvent, recycle, redefine, experiment and preserve.
Inspired by themes of natural history, influential women and science, Chloe’s work is the subject of extensive research and intrigue, resulting in a fascinating and distinctive portfolio of artworks. Freedom and experimentation are key factors in developing her personal style, through rule-breaking and fusing art forms and techniques together, taking inspiration from traditional approaches of image-making and giving them a contemporary technological twist.
Female empowerment is a recurring theme running throughout her work, constructing visual narratives of the lives of extraordinary, trailblazing women – celebrating their achievements, uncovering their struggles and chronicling the stories of these often unsung heroes.
Chloe McCarrick regularly exhibits internationally, appearing for the past few years at Le Salon Nationale Des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Affordable Art Fair London, New York, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Singapore and The Other Art Fair, curated by Saatchi Art, in London, Los Angeles, Chicago and Brooklyn. Other notable exhibitions include the InPrint- A celebration of British Contemporary Printmakers and Every Woman Biennial London.
Her work is held in the permanent heritage collection for Le Salon Des Beaux Arts foundation in Paris. And she was nominated as a Rising Star for both Saatchi Art/ The Other Art Fair and The Crafts Council UK in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Chloe McCarrick regularly exhibits internationally, appearing at the prestigious Salon De Beaux Arts in Paris, The Affordable Art Fair in London and New York, and The Other Art Fair, curated by Saatchi Art, in London and Los Angeles.
Statement about Works Submitted for Auction
My work is a visual celebration of female trailblazers and (s)heroes past and present using alternative process photography to create an illuminating memorial honouring these fascinating and often overlooked figures. Shining a vital spotlight on these extraordinary characters, I aim to place women’s history firmly within current historical and cultural narratives by pushing the boundaries of how female photographic portraiture is viewed in the modern world.
Through rule breaking and blending mediums, I use traditional photographic techniques with a contemporary, technological twist- A fusion of science, history and darkroom alchemy. By examining and developing innovative ways of reworking photographic, painted and illustrated images, I use the medium of hand-cut collage, mixed-media print techniques, and the monochromatic colour palette of Prussian blue cyanotypes to create otherworldly, surrealistic portraits suspended deep inside the paper’s surface.
Seeking to record and interpret the perspectives and human experience of my subjects, I shape their stories to construct a layered whole. Using rigorous research rituals- (my methodology of collecting and interpreting data) I document their voices and their visions- their authority, knowledge, struggles and wisdom to create compelling narratives. A rich and resonant means to honour the lives and legacies of women, whose individual and collective accomplishments have enriched our lives.
In rendering them visible, they serve as a totem of strength, these inspirational and empowering figures symbolise emerging hope. The portraits are chronicles of enquiry, evolving through the dialogue between myself as the artist, the subject and the viewer, with an aim to start conversations, break barriers and appeal to intellect and emotion.I hope to inform and inspire by creating narratives that capture the richness, complexity, and dimensionality of human experience in a social and cultural context. Each one leading toward a quest for new understandings and valuable insights, as well as instigating a societal sea change.
“I hope my visual storytelling ignites imaginations and rouses a curiosity to delve deeper and discover more about the lives of these remarkable women. I want people to feel connected, connected to their stories and to notice the unnoticed.”
‘Flora, Fauna and Fortitude’-
Inspired by Maria Sibylla Merian. A German-born naturalist and scientific illustrator who is known for her detailed and accurate illustrations of insects and plants. Considered a pioneer in the field of entomology, her work had a significant impact on the understanding of the natural world during her time and continues to be recognized for its scientific and artistic value.
Merian is linked to Mother Earth in the sense that her work was focused on the observation and documentation of the natural world. Her illustrations of plants and insects were not only scientifically accurate but also beautiful, and her observations and illustrations were an important step in understanding the relationships between plants and insects, and how they interacted with each other. Her work also had an ecological approach and her illustrations of insects and plants showed the importance of preserving natural habitats, and the delicate balance of the ecosystem.
Additionally, Merian's approach to natural history was also gendered, in that she was one of the first female naturalists and her work was often overlooked by her male contemporaries, in spite of her pioneering work. Her work was not only a contribution to the field of science but also to the field of women's contribution in science, as she helped pave the way for future female naturalists, botanists and entomologists.
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