Caragh Thuring - Why I Paint

Exploring the creative processes of tomorrow's artists today - as featured in Vitamin P3
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Caragh Thuring - photographed by Alison Goldfrapp
Caragh Thuring - photographed by Alison Goldfrapp

Painting directly onto raw linen, a material that provides a different kind of neutral support from the conventional primed white canvas, Caragh Thuring creates what she calls ‘speculative environments’, which ask the viewer to recruit their imagination and seek their own meaning in what they see. Thuring has stated: ‘I’m not interested in constructing readable vignettes within painting, but rather in how little traces of things might trigger interpretation.’ 

Her paintings are composed of a baffling array of signs, patterns and details, culled from the history of painting, contemporary advertising and the artist’s everyday surroundings. Her images excel at conveying the dynamics of focal planes and the play of light and reflections, which cause the eye to slip from one surface to another only to return to where it started, but with a different focus. Together, these elements make up a timeless language of painting with which Thuring composes her images.

It takes time to read all those signs and process visual impressions into a semblance of coherence: a cursory glance at one of her paintings reveals just a little of the magic that can be unlocked by a longer look. Here, the Vitamin P3-featured painter tells us what interests, inspires and spurs her on.

 

Caragh Thuring - Bus Stop, 2013 courtesy Thomas Dane, London
Caragh Thuring - Bus Stop, 2013 courtesy Thomas Dane, London

Who are you? Caragh Thuring

What’s on your mind right now? Italian volcano gouaches and ginger biscuits. Digesting the work I have just completed and what to make next. 

How do you get this stuff out? Not entirely sure, sometimes I look at it and wonder how it happened as I can’t understand or imagine how it got there. But mostly by reminding myself to do the things that would be easier to dismiss, that it’s fine to be embarrassed and to not consider what anyone might think.

How does it fit together? With some difficulty, but over time it adds up.

 

Caragh Thuring - Dutch Wrangler, 2014 courtesy Thomas Dane, London
Caragh Thuring - Dutch Wrangler, 2014 courtesy Thomas Dane, London

What brought you to this point? Everything I’ve experienced up to it and the decisions I’ve taken.

Can you control it? Not sure what it is but it’s probably about trying not to control it.

Have you ever destroyed one of your paintings? By continuing to work on each painting even when all is going down hill, it forces you to learn something. If you just cast it aside you avoid the issue. Therefore I destroy them constantly, each one could be considered a failure, and enables me to make the next one.

 

Caragh Thuring - He who rushes through the middle, 2015 courtesy Thomas Dane, London
Caragh Thuring - He who rushes through the middle, 2015 courtesy Thomas Dane, London

What’s next for you, and what’s next for painting? I’ve just opened an exhibition at Thomas Dane Gallery so paying some attention and looking about to see what’s going on outside the studio, all mixed in with mulling over what to make next. As for painting, it’s fairly saturated, but there’s always something more. It may not be substantial but anything helps.

Vitamin P3 New Perspectives In Painting is the third in an ongoing series that began with Vitamin P in 2002 and Vitamin P2 in 2011. For each book, distinguished critics, curators, museum directors and other contemporary art experts are invited to nominate artists who have made significant and innovative contributions to painting. The series in general, and Vitamin P3 in particular, is probably the best way to become an instant expert on tomorrrow's painting stars today. 

Find out more about Vitamin P3 New Perspectives In Painting here. Check back for another Why I Paint interview with a Vitamin P3-featured artist tomorrow. Finally, be sure to check out more of Caragh Thuring's work at Thomas Dane Gallery

The cover of Vitamin P3 New Perspectives In Painting
The cover of Vitamin P3 New Perspectives In Painting


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