Carol Wagstaff is a multi-media artist whose work observes and explores the chaotic and beautiful world that we inhabit. Born in London, and growing up in Hertfordshire, she now lives in rural Sussex, her home for the past thirty years.
After a career in the beauty industry, and with a keen interest in all things creative, she decided as a mature student to embark on a foundation course, followed by a Degree in Fine Art, subsequently graduating in 1998. Opportunities for residences ensued in Amsterdam, and for the National Trust, in London and in Sussex. Early works were principally conceptual, minimalist and sculptural, but the draw of paint always a passion, was reignited when Carol accepted a commission, of paintings and prints, for a music company. Since that point her work continues to inhabit a more reflective abstract place.
Her work often addresses the uncomfortable effects upon us all of environmental changes and global conflicts, and in 2013 and 2015 gained awards for work that depict the impact of human decisions that affect us all; her images are often made in response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and disenfranchised peoples across the world and she now finds that the inclusion of the figure within some of her work to be significant and relevant. Inspiration is often taken from her own photography and drawings, or imagery found through the media, these components, combined with a preference to work from instinct and memory provide the stimulus for most of her output as an artist; despite the fact that some elements of her work challenge and linger in the darkness, there is no doubt that behind the work is a quest for hope, she feels it is her raison d'etre to explore her response to and vision of the world.
Over the past two decades she has exhibited Nationally and Internationally in selected group and solo exhibitions and has work included in many private collections in the UK, Europe, Japan and America. Recent selected exhibitions have included, the Royal Ulster Academy, Belfast, the Discerning Eye, the Mall Galleries, London, and the Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Exhibition, London.
This year has brought its own challenges to all of us. However, optimistically, Carol is working towards an exhibition at the Victoria Institute Arundel, West Sussex, as part of the Arundel Gallery Trail, where her hope and intention is to create and present some site specific pieces, circumstances prevailing, alongside other works. Carol, is very excited to be part of the project that the co-ordinators, Penny Schuler, Marty Lowell and Andy Waite, have conceived.
Critical analysis of her work has been written by Timothy Warrington of the Federation of Art Critics and Sean Parfitt Artist and Curator .
Venue: The Victoria Institute, Tarrant Street.