Katie Sollohub is primarily interested in documenting and recording the places she lives and works in. She has carried out numerous residencies including JMW Turner’s house in Twickenham and Strawberry Hill House. Her work explores the narrative element surrounding objects and their quotidian, physical presence in both interiors and gardens.
Her interest in interiors began as a way to make her relax in new surroundings. She found by drawing these spaces she was able to enter into and hold her new environment. Latterly this has led to an interest in the traces people leave, the way they inhabit spaces and the overlaying of memory and history on the present.
During lockdown she revisited a project began in 2017. As artist in residence at a luxury hotel in Tuscany, she painted her breakfast every morning, to give a focus to the day. This was the place she returned to in March of this year, ‘reminding myself every day, here I am, the artist in residence at home; noticing objects, in their space, feeling connected, telling their story, paying attention to the everyday’.
The original paintings are done in anilinky watercolours. The decision to group them and paint them in oils as a composite piece came as she was organising them for safe keeping. A patchwork of disparate images, all connected, fragments of life, documentation of everyday space. The process of bringing them together, re-examining them, repainting them, is a culmination of the whole process. The individual pieces can also be rearranged to tell a visual story, chosen by the viewer.
The garden paintings have emerged from a slower pace of working, painting as a meditative thought process, rather than the more pressurised pieces produced in other people’s spaces during her residencies. ‘They include more of a sense of narrative, playing a role beyond mere observation’. Renaissance paintings by Piero della Francesca have informed her choices for composition, space and colour.
Katie studied social anthropology at the University of Sussex and Fine Art at Northbrook College. Shehas been artist in residence at JMW Turner’s House. Twickenham, Strawberry Hill House and visiting artist at West Horsely Place, Surrey. Shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize and the Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize, this year she won the Derwent Drawing Prize for her drawing of the Blue Bedchamber at Strawberry Hill. She has exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Show, the Discerning Eye and the Lynne Painter Stainers Prize, and held solo shows in prestigious venues including Orleans House, Richmond; The City Art Gallery, Winchester and the Light Box, Woking.