Inheritance takes its cue from the beginnings of Princess Catalina de Aragón. She was a fascinating character of fiercely successful parents, particularly Isabella I of Castile. Both mother and daughter were unusually blue eyed with auburn hair. After taking the prized Alhambra (the red palace) from the Moors, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand went on to extend their power abroad, betrothing Catalina (Katharine, Catherine) to Henry VIII’s younger brother Arthur at the age of three, and sending her across the seas to new surrounds.
Beginning with these elementary facts, dipping in and out of the finer details, I have created a series of paintings which connect with my own experience. I developed a colour palette based on the reds and blues we share, and the seas we’ve travelled, as well as a postcard I have of Georgia O’Keefe’s ‘Narcissa’s Last Orchid’ 1940 which was a gesture of friendship and is also a mistaken palette: much warmer than the actual painting.
The paintings are mostly held together by an overlaid structure which I think of as a framework for perception. These are devised in a number of ways. For instance, I studied the shaped of Andy Warhol’s camouflage paintings, which were originally developed from Claude Monet’s Waterlilies. These now seem like romantic gestures of unkempt landscape. In current reality, property development and population sprawl bring a more geometric edge to the aerial view, so I’ve played with overlays which reflect a mix of carparks, garden edges and Moorish patterning within the Alhambra. I’ve also explored the body as a site for perception, particularly the spaces between and throughout the human skeleton.