RETIRED Helsby pharmacist and fancy dress shop owner Kath Kerry has launched her first one woman art exhibition ‘Catching the Light’ at Castle Park Arts Centre in Frodsham.
Her collection of 49 watercolour paintings features a diverse range of styles and colour palettes, and a wide variety of subjects from landscapes and seascapes to wildlife and architectural details.
Water lilies, wild mushrooms and windfall apples share wall space with old rowing boats, Portmeirion porticos and sunlit Spanish street scenes. Reality and imagination rub shoulders to create new views of familiar places, such as on the steps leading to Helsby Hill and Liverpool’s iconic skyline, haunted by echoes of slave ships. The environment, both built and natural, is a thread which weaves through all her canvasses.
Kath explains: “I paint whatever takes my eye at the time – landscapes, buildings, animals, people or just small details which catch my imagination. My pictures are quite varied. Sometimes I like to paint in a very precise manner and sometimes I find great joy in letting the paint have its own way. It seems a shame to be tied down to one particular way of doing things when there is so much fun to be had in experimenting.”
The collection represents more than 800 hours of work at the easel – a labour of love and passion for a subject which first took root as young girl growing up in the Cheshire villages of Lostock Gralam and Wimbolds Trafford. Aged only ten, her painting ‘Italy’ was chosen to appear on a national BBC art programme ‘Adrian Hill’s Sketch Club’ – she was hooked and has never looked back.
For many years art took a back seat to her career. After winning a scholarship to Queen’s School in Chester, Kath went on to study science and gained a degree in pharmacy at Manchester University. She then worked as a pharmacist in Colchester, Carlisle and Crewe before opening her own retail chemist business in Runcorn’s Shopping City in the mid-1980s.
Over the years her creative talents found expression in different outlets – opening a fancy dress shop, Party Pieces, in Runcorn Old Town, learning the cello in her 50s and becoming a founder member of Kingsley Drama Group, now the award-winning Kingsley Players.
However when Kath retired recently, she returned to her first love, painting – gradually amassing the wonderful collection on display at the arts centre.
She adds: “I am hugely grateful to Castle Park Arts Centre for the opportunity to show my work on this scale. I do tend to spend a long time on each of my paintings – nothing gets done in a day. They evolve as they go along, often ending up looking very different to the original concept – but I like that.”
Visitors to Castle Park Arts Centre can see her ‘Catching the Light’ exhibition in Gallery Two, alongside an exciting mixed media exhibition ‘Material Matters’ in Gallery One by the group ReMix Creatives.
Both shows will be on display at Castle Park Arts Centre until Sunday 13 September. For more information check out the Castle Park website: https://www.castleparkarts.co.uk/