The most obvious aspect of my work is the repetition of the cat as its main subject. This is partly because I am fascinated by the richness in the texture and pattern of the cat's coat.
Pattern is important to me. I admire painters such as Bonnard and Vuillard (the "Nabis" of the 1880's), who were influenced by Japanese artists and the ornamental quality of their woodcut prints. I love to see pattern and textures piled upon one another. Living with cats, one sees endless beautiful images within ordinary domestic situations; tabby markings juxtaposed against a heap of stripy washing and so on.
I like to record these situations - corners of rooms at certain times of day - but the cat often has to be there. The remainder of the painting, however, is often just as important than the cat. I aim to treat the whole almost as a tapestry, paying equal attention to space and form. For this purpose I find gouache the most suitable medium, its opacity maintains the flatness of the surface of the painting.
Born in Dorking, I studied fine art at Central College of Art and Design (foundation 1970-1971), St. Martins School of Art (BA Fine Art 1971-1974) and the Royal Academy Schools (1974-1977 RA Postgraduate cert.).
I also spent one year at Falmouth School of Art painting landscapes. Whilst at college, I won a Richard Jack Prize for Portraiture and a David Murray Travel Scholarship, spending time painting landscapes in the South of France.
I live and work in South London.
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, Mall Galleries, London
Hilliard Society of Miniaturists, Wells, Somerset
Society of Women Artists, London (recipient of the 2003 Windsor & Newton Award for Best Exhibited Painting)
Llewellyn Alexander, London
Manya Igel Fine Art, London
The Clifton Gallery, Bristol
Royal Watercolour Society Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition, London
Royal Fine Art, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Royal Society of Marine Artists, Mall Galleries, London
Chappel Galleries, Colchester, Essex
Whitechapel Gallery, London
All Work © Celia Pike
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