Sheffield Based Artist Cath Dunn
As summer draws to a close, it’s time for another of our regular “Fellow Sheffield Creatives” features. For the next couple of months we are focusing on our new friend, Sheffield based artist Cath Dunn.
Cath’s wonderful mixed media paintings are full of movement with sometimes vibrant and sometimes subtle textures, and it’s a style we really love. Have a look on her site for the Larches, Bamford piece, it has an almost stained glass window feel to it.
Volta: Who or what inspired you to do what you do?
Cath: My mother was a poet and growing up there were always writers, actors and photographers, usually penniless, around. I was a very shy child and knew words were not my thing. I have always loved colour and there were many good, and free, galleries in Edinburgh, where I grew up.
Volta: Were you self-taught or have you had formal training?
Cath: I did not go to Art School or have consolidated periods of formal training. Put another way, I have had many teachers throughout my life.
Volta: What did you do before you did what you do now?
Cath: I lived and worked in Africa for many years, for charities and aid organisations, in the areas of conservation and land use management. More recently, I would travel overseas for a few months, return to Sheffield and paint for a few months, go abroad again. The two types of work dovetailed well as the aid and charity work was so intensive I needed recovery time which I got through painting. Now I am a full-time artist in the winter and paint and look after bees in the summer.
Volta: How did your current style develop and how do you see it developing in the future?
Cath: I found a couple drawings the other day that I had done as a child. What struck me was how the elements of colour, line and rhythm were apparent even then but where it came from I don’t know. Developing into the future I want to continue experimenting with these elements but also bring in more layers and texture, and work on some pieces that are much larger in scale.
Volta: You’re not originally from Sheffield, why did you decide to settle here?
Cath: I met my husband-to-be who was working as an architect here.
Volta: What influence has living in Sheffield had on your creativity and how you approach your work?
Cath: Sheffield is a great place to be an artist, both the city and surrounding countryside provide endless inspiration. Walkley, in particular, is full of artists who provide mutual support in good times and bad!
Walkley Edge Artists, Peak District Artisans, Open Up Sheffield, Sheffield Printmakers and Art in the Gardens have all given me the chance to show work and have led to further opportunities in South Yorkshire and beyond.
Volta: If you could choose one famous person to own one of your pieces of work, who would it be?
Cath: So difficult to choose. From Yorkshire, it would have to be David Hockney. I admire his continued willingness to explore different subjects and media. From further afield perhaps the painters Barbara Rae or Victoria Crowe.
Volta: Can you remember the first piece of work you ever sold?
Cath: Very clearly, it was on an extremely wet Sunday at Art in the Gardens.
Volta: Do other areas of creativity, such as music, have any influence on your work?
Cath: Music, dance and poetry influence my work. In creating a new piece and finding the painting’s rhythm is, for me, as much a feeling involving all the senses, not just the visual!
Volta: What is your favourite thing about Sheffield?
Cath: The people, the artists, the industrial heritage and the Peak District (OK, that’s four).
Volta: What advice would you give an aspiring fellow creative who was wanting to break through to the next level?
Cath: Learn from, support and be supported by your fellow creatives and continue to explore, play and share.
Sheffield Based Artist Cath Dunn
Want to find out a little more about Sheffield Based Artist Cath Dunn and her work?
Here are links to Caths’s website and social media channels – enjoy!
View our previous Fellow Sheffield Creatives