The Skinny Showcase: Caitlin Hynes

Gallery | 03 Sep 2014

The Skinny Showcase: Caitlin Hynes

"I have been inspired by the concept of ‘pilgrimage’ – a journey which leads me, where the journey is the story. The idea of pilgrimage fascinates me: our lives viewed as a whole journey, where the journey can be physical or spiritual or both. We might be travelling to the Santiago de Compostella; visiting a site of family history; going through education; changing our appearance: I see these all as a form of pilgrimage. I think with many of these events it's the journey through the experience that is important. In my work faces are contorted – it is unclear if they are laughing or screaming. I often do not know which it is myself, but for me, everything is never quite as it seems; things are always somewhere on a spectrum, do I like this or hate it?... Was it as good as it seemed or am I looking over with rose tinted eyes?

"Whether it is a moment in time or a memory, there is a little trigger that starts off a piece and from then it is affected by everything that is happening around me. What happens in my surroundings dictates how my work is made.

"It leads me to a physical and/or spiritual place, where my singular identity can join with others into a group identity, a group of believers. There is comfort and peace in belief and belonging. The masks were created as objects of initiation, so as to be accepted when wearing one, belonging to a group. My work is playful and fluid, I have been surrounded by images of icons and shrines and influenced by theatre, the characters, the props, and the staging.

"It is important for me to collect and create objects and artefacts, records and traces of my journey, where I have been and where I am going. I value those things that are significant and meaningful, however small or ephemeral.
"I use old bed sheets, used paper, things that people don't want anymore. I like the idea that the objects I have used have had a previous history. The dusty remains are lapped up in colours mixed up from my cardboard paint palette, drying in their new surroundings. My studio space at school often became the place where people would pass on bits of 'tat' they didn't want. I mix acrylic with fabric paint, I do what works best to produce the work In the way I want to make it.

"My work is raw, humorous, messy and joyful and conveys an individual journey, as it happens, in the ‘now’ of this life. This is reflected in the way I make my work, it progresses and grows with me, I have a starting point which unfolds, sometimes unexpectedly, which makes the process of making work exciting."

Caitlin Hynes graduated from Printmaking at Gray’s School of Art in 2014. Her work has previously been exhibited has been at Peacock Visual Arts and AKI ArtEz in the Netherlands, and has been selected for RSA New Contemporaries 2015. She received a Highly Commended in the BP Fine Art Award and a SMART Gallery New Art Look to the North Award for her degree show.