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Featured Artists

Every now and then a particular artist will stand out. It may be their subject, style or outstanding achievement. At Frame Art Display, we would like to acknowledge quality artwork by dedicating this page to the creators…

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Our first feature artist of 2015 is Cathy Read

A professional artist who has developed a unique style which is instantly recognisable and building a reputation for architectural art in a growing number of countries around the world

Cathy S R Read, a self-taught artist originally from Manchester (UK), works from her studio in Buckinghamshire. Cathy, an Associate Member of the Society of Women Artists, grew up amidst the decaying mills of the Cotton industry which fuelled her interest in buildings. Painting and drawing were always her favourite pastimes, although she only became a professional artist in 2008 after leaving successful career in occupational therapy.

Her distinctive mixed media abstracts depict the geometric shapes and inherent patterns of architecture with a freely expressive style. Bringing ordinary buildings to life, she looks to major cities such as London and Manchester for inspiration.

Earlier paintings were predominantly circle based abstracts. The urban landscape style developing in 2010, inspired by the massive changes seen during visits home to Manchester over the years. Keen to record the old mills before they disappeared entirely, she set about photographing them as reference material for paintings. During these sessions she came across brand new buildings which caught her eye so started recording and painting these as well. She now creates a mixture of paintings inspired by urban historic and contemporary architecture.

Cathy began exhibiting seriously in 2011 and, since then, her distinctive work has been seen in such places as the Bankside and Mall Galleries, London; Linacre College and the Central Library in Oxford and Stowe House, Buckinghamshire. Her work is gaining international recognition being accepted for exhibitions in France and Norway and is in private collections as far afield as Canada and South Africa.

What will the future hold? All artists aim to grow their reputation and create work that excites and challenges them. Cathy has recently been taken on by Artzu Gallery and art consultancy in Manchester, which promises to open up some exciting opportunities. Her book “The Milton Keynes Project” was published late 2014 and she is now promoting that as well as developing larger scale artwork and incorporating more mixed media elements into her projects.

The Milton Keynes Project

Milton Keynes is an amazing place and its architecture is inspirational.

The brief: to create art inspired by the iconic structures around MK.

The project was commissioned by Fringe MK Westbury, now Westbury Arts Centre and MK Festival Fringe. Originally planned to be a series of just 8. The series now consists of 20 pieces all 40 x 50cm.
12 Paintings were exhibited at Project Space in Milton Keynes 13th June – 6th July 2012.
Prints are available via her website along with the book created as a result of the project.

“To many people Milton Keynes is uninspiring. But Living there you discover there’s an awful lot more to it. Buildings such as The Point dominate the city’s skyline. Iconic structures, symbolic of a new city.“

A series of 20 paintings commissioned by Fringe Art MK Westbury on these iconic buildings.

Coming to Milton Keynes in 1988 Cathy found an established but still rapidly developing city. She was intrigued by the conscious aim to create something new. From the layout of the roads and redways, to radical experimentation with architecture. Design and everyday living sitting side by side.

Milton Keynes dares to be itself. Not a pale imitation of traditional urban life.
As a new city it stands out and as such has a very different character from most cities in the UK. Milton Keynes developers chose a new way to be, and that’s what this series sets out to highlight. The architecture reflecting the life and vision. From the dominance of buildings such as the Point to the everyday unobtrusiveness of the underpass and shopping centre. Her aim is to show the MK the residents know.
It’s Cathy’s aim to depict buildings, not as static constructs but as frameworks around which the plays of everyday life are enacted. Buildings would not exist without people. They echo their creators both the people who design and those who build them. Likewise the people who inhabit a building are influenced by its spaces, breathing life and energy into it. The paintings are like these lives, sometimes ordered, but other times chaotic; simple but also complex; isolated and yet connected.

The Milton Keynes Project was commissioned by FringeMK and created between February and October 2012.