This month’s featured work, Shaping by Caroline Walker, rethinks the gendered language of painting

Shaping by Caroline Walker


Caroline Walker

© Caroline Walker

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About the artwork
Caroline Walker’s Shaping, a recently acquired artwork, depicts two women absorbed in their work in a tailor’s workshop. The women are foregrounded by partial views of two headless mannequins, whose square suit-shoulders suggest a male form. Walker inverts a long-standing tradition of passive female subjects in painting by presenting her tailors in action. In contrast, a masculine presence is alluded to with the fragmented objects of the mannequins.

Shaping is part of a group of large-scale paintings and intimate drawings by Walker, that focus on women within public spaces, such as hotels and beauty parlours. Walker creates a sense of cinematic narrative in her works by employing staged photo shoots, where she creates scenes with models on location. Her quietly charged, often luxurious spaces, frame half-told narratives that upset traditional ideas of the woman as subject and ponder the human condition in a post-modern image-conscious age.

About the artist
Caroline Walker was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and currently lives and works in London. She completed her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2009. Recent solo exhibitions include service, GRIMM, New York (2018); Actions, Part 2: Home, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2018); Painted Ladies, Space K, Gwacheon, Korea (2017); and Night Scenes, ProjectB, Milan, Italy (2017). Her work has also been included in numerous group shows including Actions. The image of the world can be different, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2018); The London Open 2015, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015); Reality: Modern and Contemporary British Painting, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich (2014); Painting and Sculpture from Milan Galleries, curated by Francesco Poli, Milan Triennale, Milan (2014); and Part of a Collection: OUTSET/RCA Acquisitions 2009–2011, Royal College of Art, London (2011). Her work is represented in international collections including the Saatchi Collection, London; The Franks-Suss Collection, London; Shetland Islands Council; and the Woong Yeul Lee Collection, Korea.