Discovering fresco set Carey Mortimer on her path as an artist. After graduating from City and Guilds of London Art School in 1986, she studied under Italian restorer Leonetto Tintori, who introduced her to the medium of the ancients and encouraged her to unravel it.
Lime, sand, pigment, yolk . . . how to make new the alchemies of the past? Carey likes to unzip the science: fresco is painting turned to stone, egg tempera is hardening strings of protein, gold is stable and stays gold forever. First know the rules to break them. And if nature is already divine, why compete? Freed from its ordinary context, a gathered leaf / mermaid’s purse / bowl or feather can take on a different function altogether: ‘A painting is only a rearrangement of matter into another form.’ The artist as chemist of the imagination. The studio as crucible, microscope, chantry.
Past and present speak in their own ways. Alert to the languages of both, Carey blends age-old techniques and her own contemporary sensibility to create surprising visual poems. Her paintings acknowledge the difficult noise of our time, but by reminding us to see beauty they offer a healing perspective, and in doing so help restore balance.
A Dundee University MPhil, Carey has been exhibiting with the Thackeray Gallery since 1994. Her work can be found in many public, private and corporate collections worldwide, including Aviva Headquarters, London; Farleigh Hungerford Castle; Firmdale Hotels, London; and Jones Day, London and New York.
Maria de Jong.