Featured Artist Cathy Read

Artsy Shark presents the stunning mixed media portfolio of British artist Cathy Read. Find out more about her work by visiting her website.



What are your goals?

The first goal for any artist is to create art like life depends on it. My goal is to create beautiful, unique art with depth. And that involves regular studio time. I plan to do a lot more of that this year.

But, as any professional  artist knows, the next goal is to reach more people and be seen in more galleries. And that’s where it gets interesting.



I have some exhibitions planned but I intend to arrange more. Somethings in London and Manchester are my priority. But any major UK city or even abroad would be a bonus.

I’m in a temporary studio until the end of January. Being part of Fringe MK has been a great experience and I plan to return later in the year and increase my involvement there.



I have an idea for a large performance/conceptual piece which I want to get started with a view to completion in 2013. I don’t want to give too much away at the moment, especially as I need to figure out the details. But it will involve vast quantities of wool and sporty people!

And finally, it’s a perennial battle but I should add … Avoid procrastination!



What are you working on now?

Creatively I’m continuing to produce more mixed media Abstracts. One series is Contemporary City Scenes inspired by recent architecture in Manchester and London. My main focus is on buildings displaying optimism. Either through ambitious design or height – often both! The other group is called Circles and Psychology and is a fuse of social comment with diagrammatic content.



These are keeping me very busy but I believe it’s important to experiment with new ideas and direction. I’m exploring the properties of self levelling gel and texture paste. There have been some technical issues which I’m trying to resolve. So far the results are promising, I just need to do lots more!

I’m producing work for exhibitions in May and June. As well as all the planning and promoting. Nomads- a group exhibiting as part of Oxford Artweeks, and a solo show as part of Bucks Open Studios.



What inspires you?

So many things inspire me, it’s difficult to summarise. I think artists are inspired by a mix of things. We take different elements we love, mixing them together to create our unique style. But if I had to be brief I’d say simple, intelligent, elegant and clever design.

As a very tactile person, I love sculptures with texture and clean lines. Works of art I can handle and interact with. And I especially love architecture.

I’m drawn to the natural beauty of shapes and structure. To the rhythms and patterns they create. I love extremes from contemporary, cutting edge design to the old and decaying. Also anything that makes me question what I know or shows a new perspective. Particularly if done with humour.



Individual pieces and elements inspire me more than specific artists. Like Anish Kapoor’s sensual shapes and Van Gogh’s fluid brush strokes and texture. Or the use of new media or challenges to scale, like in Jeff Koons’ work.

Many other people inspire me in different ways. Intelligent, successful, glamorous women like Goldie Hawn and Bette Davies. Helen Keller’s determination, Victoria Wood’s observational, down to earth humour. Storm Thorgerson’s surreal photography.



I need music when I’m working. Especially Kate Bush’s. Music helps my work flow and sparks ideas.

As I get older I’m increasingly aware of change. It’s both distressing and exciting! I want to record it and reflect on its effects.



  1. Just wanted to update you on my goals. I realised the exhibition in Manchester goal in September 2012 in an exhibition in Piccadilly Place. In June 2013 I’ll be exhibiting in the Mall Galleries in London with the Society of Women Artists. My first London Exposure and all very exciting at such a prestigious Venue! And I plan to keep pushing on! Thanks Caroline, people like you are essential to helping people like me realise our dreams!

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