Carole Waller Interview
Carole Waller is an artist who paints unique contemporary clothes-Art to Wear.
She has perfected the art of painting directly onto silk, making a wearable and washable painting with incredible richness of mark and colour. Her silk clothes are contemporary, stylish and timeless.
Here, Carole talks about here career, latest fashions - especially for Mother's Day, and how the business has adapted during the pandemic.
For those who aren’t familiar with your work, how would you best describe what you do?
I paint fabrics of various types of fabrics and make one off pieces of clothing and scarves - I had a gallery in Bath until the middle of last year - WallerandWood - and as soon as lockdown is over I look forward to being able to greet clients and visitors to our studio showroom just outside Bath where Gary Wood and I live. He makes wonderful stoneware ceramics. My clothing pieces are made by Ali Andrews in Trowbridge with whom I have worked for 25 years and I love the fact that handmade slow fashion has now become important to people. My pieces are not cheap - but they are about intensive and made with absolute integrity . They are also timeless - clients tell me they share them with their daughters!
What, or who, inspired you to become an artist and when did you realise that this passion could become a living?
My mother was an artist and worked from a studio at home - so I always know it was thing - she also inspired me to believe in myself - and continued to mentor me (ie . to tell me exactly what she thought! ) until a week before she died at 87!
The simple but extensive European travel she insisted on all through my childhood to see cave paintngs, temples and art galleries got under my skin and gave me a built in library of reference at an early age - even though I did not appreciate it at the time.
Are there any particular trends, colours, items you are working on at the moment?
How to make work which is QUIET is my next challenge - My work tends to be very bold and colourful but I am yearning for a bit of black and white currently.
Are there any particular items you feel are perfect for Mothers Day?
I have just made some really fine soft wool shawls which are lightweight but cosy and very soft - and there are some lovely small silk neck scarves which would be lovely gifts for Mothers Day. Every purchase comes with a guarantee that it can be exchanged at a later date if the recipient does not like the colour …..I can post things gift wrapped to your Mum .
What do you love most about Bath?
Its proximity to wonderful countryside - and the Roman Baths - especially the orange drain.
How are were do you spend your downtime?
In my garden - I’m a terrible gardener but its big and a hillside so its wonderful to be in. My practise has been to go away in January to think about a Spring collection - and for the last 4 years it has been Barcelona, Venice , Rome and Florence . This year it is Batheaston - and the trees which I see every day all around me. I have come to appreciate my immediate surroundings in a completely new way.
What are you looking forward to most after lockdown 3.0?
Going to the sea and having a pub lunch.
Carole Waller Studio
One Two Five, Box Road, Bath BA1 7LR