It’s safe to say that colour is integral to Caroline Dowsett’s striking shape-based work, the ideas for which can be found in a variety of environments. “I’m always being surprisingly inspired,” she tells It’s Nice That. “I’ll go into a shop and see a bunch of different coloured socks misplaced together, or I’m out walking in the park amongst all the different shades that appear in nature – that gets my creative brain ticking!”
Caroline, who is based in her hometown of Manchester, focuses on creating “playful and fluid” pieces, reflecting the way in which she approaches her work. “My paintings are bold, a mix of coloured shapes puzzled together and black lines on top to create movement and energy, and then often words that are present in my mind whilst in the moment of painting,” she says.
Unlike many people, Caroline doesn’t really plan what she is going to create. “My work is rather organic with how the shapes slot together, and the lines just flow in the moment, the only thing I often really plan out are the colours,” she says. “I set aside around four to six colours, and mix my own shades too, and then go!
“I mainly work in acrylic and ink onto heavy stock paper, canvas or wood, in large format so I can get a movement going with the paint and lines,” she says. “I create work for myself in the form of paintings, prints, laser-cut wooden shapes and an on-going sketchbook, as well as for clients in digital format, hand-painted murals, textiles, printed goods and sculptures.” These projects have seen her previously working with brands such as Uniqlo, NTS, Camden Brewery and Virgin Trains, as well as a host of independent companies in Manchester.
Drawing and “mark making”, as she describes it, has been something that Caroline has done for as long as she can remember: “it was how I was kept occupied and still as a kid, and it’s been the same ever since,” she says. After finding that art was the only subject she really enjoyed at school, she went on to an art foundation course that she believes was her “most informative year in education. I dipped my toe into all the different methods and was introduced to a wide selection of practices and artists, this is where my interest in applying my work to different media came from and the power of the sketchbook,” she says.