Caroline Walker

Caroline Walker’s paintings reveal the diverse social, cultural and economic experiences of women living in contemporary society.

Caroline Walker was born in 1982 in Dunfermline, Scotland. She lives and works in London.

Drawing on her own photographic source material, Walker provides a unique window into the everyday lives of women. Blurring the boundary between objectivity and lived experience, the artist highlights often overlooked jobs performed by women and the psychologically charged spaces they inhabit.

Walker explains: “The subject of my paintings in its broadest sense is women’s experience, whether that is the imagined interior life of a glimpsed shop worker, a closely observed portrayal of my mother working in the family home, or women I’ve had the privilege of spending time with, in their place of work. From the anonymous to the highly personal, what links all these subjects is an investigation of an experience which is specifically female.”

Previously encompassing locations such as Los Angeles, Palm Springs and the UK, Walker’s scenes hint at the complexity of her subjects’ lives whilst completely avoiding narrative resolution. Recent works have seen Walker cast her eye to her immediate surroundings in East London, reflecting on her wider community and the significance of encounters with anonymous individuals who are nevertheless integral to our daily existence. Often exploring the notion of ‘women’s work’, the artist captures specific spaces such as pharmacies, tailors, beauty salons, laboratories, bathhouses and modernist apartments.

Walker presented a new body of large-scale paintings at the historic Fitzrovia Chapel in February 2022. The works were created following her residency at University College Hospital's maternity wing, during which the artist shadowed female midwives, nurses, doctors and cleaners. Sketches from the series were displayed by UCLH Arts at Street Gallery, London and the project was accompanied by an illustrated catalogue. Examples were also included as part of a two-person presentation with Laura Knight at Nottingham Castle in March 2022. 

KM21, The Hague hosted ‘Windows’, a significant solo exhibition of the artist’s work in August 2021. An expansive show of Walker’s preparatory studies and large-scale paintings titled ‘Women’s Work’ opened in May 2021 at Midlands Art Centre (MAC), Birmingham, UK. She features in the Hayward Gallery touring exhibition ‘British Art Show 9’ in 2022. Walker’s first solo show at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London opened in April 2022, focussing on the artist’s sister-in-law Lisa and her experience of motherhood. 

Walker obtained an MA in painting from Royal College of Art, London in 2009 and a BA (Hons) from Glasgow School of Art in 2004. Walker is also represented by GRIMM, Amsterdam / New York and Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh. Other recent solo exhibitions include ‘Nearby’, GRIMM, New York, USA (2021); 'Janet', Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, UK (2020); ‘Actions Part 2: Home’, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, UK (2018); ‘Sunset’, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, USA (2018) and ‘Painted Ladies’, Space K, Gwacheon, South Korea (2017). 

Her work can be found in numerous international collections including Arts Council Collection, UK; De Ying Foundation, South Korea; Government Art Collection, UK; HE Art Museum, Foshan, China; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, Florida, USA; Kistefos Museum, Jevnaker, Norway; Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague, Netherlands; Pond Society, Shanghai, China; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands; National Museum Wales, UK; and Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing, China.


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