Kate Corbett Winder is one of our biggest inspirations here at Willow Crossley Studio as well as being Willow's mum! Her exhibition Close to Home closes this week on the 16th July and she has kindly shared some of her reflections on the exhibition and life this past year.
How does it feel having a real-life exhibition after months of lockdown?
It feels exciting to have something real on the walls after so much virtual art, though sad that fewer people are London at the moment to see the paintings for themselves.
Can you tell us a bit about this exhibition?
The exhibition is a collection of landscape, abstract and some more figurative paintings (all in oil, some with collage added). Most of the works were painted during the last year when I was firmly based at home in mid Wales hence the name Close to Home.
The aerial landscapes which excited me the most were inspired by being flown low over the fields from a local airport and I became fascinated by the patterns and grids. I’ve always loved the way manmade intrusions punctuate the landscape, farm buildings, verticals, poles etc and somehow looking from above really accentuates that.
Does your garden also influence your art?
Yes. I am passionate about gardening and find inspiration for my paintings in my flower borders as well as in the landscape - and when the weather is too horrible I assemble plants and jugs in my studio for still life.
Do you have any favourites paintings in Close to Home?
I think the group of aerial ones including Marchlands and Upper House Fields and Blossom.
How was your experience of lockdown? Did you find it very challenging or were there any silver linings?
Apart from not seeing enough of our family, children and grandchildren, including a grand-daughter born in May, the lockdown was quite a productive time as I was happy in the studio and garden for uninterrupted periods with few distractions.
How do you like to work? Could you talk us through a typical working day?
I try to be in my studio by mid morning, sit with a cup of strong coffee and stare at what is on the easel - usually with a plan to scrape it off and restart, or turn it upside down!
What’s your garden like at this time of year?
The garden is rather overwhelming me right now - so many roses to dead head and prop up - and it's the difficult transition time of cutting back once flowered perennials so they will go on looking good and bloom again later in the summer - so you end up with horrible bare patches like a really bad hair cut - but they do quickly recover especially if it rains, which it invariably does in Wales.
What is your ideal summer holiday?
Beach, sea, sun, sketchbook, no weeding.
It’s coming up to dahlia season, what are your top three dahlias?
Can you recommend any good books you've read recently?
I am a fan of Persephone books so am always waiting for a new one to come out. I am reading a curious one called Woman in the Purple Skirt by a Japanese author Natsuko Imamura.
Can you share a summer recipe?
Home made pesto which is so adaptable to throw on pasta, stir into risotto - I blitz herbs from the garden basil, mint, parsley, with either cashew, walnuts, pine nuts or almonds - take your pick, a lot of olive oil, parmesan and lemon juice, salt and pepper - it keeps for ages too in the fridge.
Finally what are you most looking forward to doing this summer as we come out of lockdown?
It sounds such a cliche but after lockdown I'd love a reason to dress up, put on good make up (also remember how to put on good make up!) and dance at a party with good friends I haven’t seen for far too long.
If you are in London or visiting this week don't miss the chance to see Kate Corbett Winder's work. For more information about this exhibition and to see the online catalogue please visit Long and Ryle.