“This is not some re-enactment of olde-worlde art techniques,” she writes of her practice. “The art I make is very much of the moment in which I find myself, as a woman, as a mammal, an earthling…. I make my art not just for the humans, but for the trees who provide materials for brushes and boxes, for the rock strata that provide my pigments. What art do you make when it is not only human eyes watching you, when the market is not the measure? I do not have the answers yet, so I get up and make ink, grind color, and make marks.”
And make her marks she does. Her works are grounded by the natural colors, but still manage to evoke a sense of wildness, of abandon. They suggest landscapes, and people, and wildlife, but at the same time hint at a freedom in her artistic process — one that, it’s easy to speculate, might be tied to her freedom from the trappings of modern materials.
Learn more about Caroline Ross’ work at: carolineross.co.uk
What requires no speculation is that these materials allow her to tread lightly on the land around her.
“My new ancient materials are not polluting the earth,” she writes. “We think of art as environmentally neutral at worst, but most art materials are made to be disposable. It has only been this way since coal and oil based chemicals brought a whole new era of color to the world of paint, and subsequently brought plastic materials to the artist. Before then materials came from the earth and when no longer needed, returned to it.”
A beautiful sentiment for her artwork, and one we might all apply to our own varied undertakings.