Caroline Walker - Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Charity Auction London Wednesday, March 16, 2022 | Phillips
  • '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 within 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.' —Caroline Walker

    Caroline Walker is a British painter who focuses her attention on women in interior settings whose labour is often invisible or overlooked. Her work has focused on women in service industry jobs, ranging from retail, to hospitality, and cleaning.  She infuses deep humanity for her subject with a masterful handling of paint, conjuring a sense of light and stillness with an empathic hand. 


    This work on paper, Study for Machining, belongs to Walker’s investigation of women working on bespoke tailoring on Savile Row, London, first shown at GRIMM Gallery, Amsterdam in 2019. A seamstress is in deep concentration, working at her sewing machine among the materials of a tailor’s cutting room and workshop. The visual language of the workshop – the tools and equipment – become part of a semi-abstract painterly language in which paint describes and suggests the atmosphere of the space. 


    In her research for this work, Walker was drawn to images of women sewing in the history of art, particularly in Dutch Golden Age painting. Noticing that artists such as Johannes Vermeer and Nicolaes Maes depicted women sewing within homes or gardens, Walker emphasises the shift from sewing as a domestic activity to a professional one. 



    Caroline Walker (b. 1982 in Dunfermline, UK) currently lives and works in London (UK), where she completed her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2009. Walker's work is included in the British Art Show 9, Wolverhampton; Manchester and Plymouth (UK) and has recently been on view at Fitzrovia Chapel, London. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at GRIMM; Ingleby Gallery;  Kettles Yard, Cambridge; KM21, Kunstmuseum, The Hague; and Space K, Seoul. 


    Courtesy of the artist, GRIMM Amsterdam | New York, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. 

    • Description

      Image: Peter Mallet

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    • Provenance

      Donated by the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh and GRIMM Amsterdam | New York


Study for Machining

signed, titled and dated 'Study for Machining 2019 Caroline Walker' on the reverse
oil on paper
50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 15 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2019.

Full Cataloguing

£8,000 - 12,000 


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