Kathryn Sillince is an intuitive abstract and contemporary tropical painter based in Sheffield, at the edge of the Peak District.
I studied Contemporary Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University in 2002, then at London College of Fashion, and after 13 years working in fashion running my award winning handbag label, I returned to my first love, painting, in 2020.
Painting and admiring abstract art has always brought me the most joy as a painter, and for the last few years have been painting solely in this style, however from early 2023 I’ve also been working on a series of paintings taking inspiration from tropical flora and vibrant escapist scenes, as I'm obsessed with my new allotment and growing rare tropical plants from seed in my home jungle.
I take daily inspiration from long thinking walks with my dachshund in the nearby forests above Rivelin Valley, and many trips to tropical glasshouses around the UK.
About my abstract work:
I'm fascinated with the transformative, meditative power of art to rouse the senses and bring joy, and this recurring theme in my my work leads me to be in a constant state of experimentation and exploration.
My new series of neon abstracts I’ll be bringing to Manchester Art Fair explores the delicate dance and balance that is our mental health, as we really took notice of it anew in the lockdown, making it a topic on everyones lips, as we all collectively connected on social media in the most isolated period of our lives.
The colours and smooth organic forms represent comfort and are intended to provide solace and healing in the viewer. Distraction and elevation from a certain lower state of mind, into a joyous feedback loop. And the fragility of that in itself fascinates me daily. I was curious to see if a painting alone could have the power to elevate our emotions to make a significant positive difference. My work in abstract and at its most figurative, is that experiment in the form of art.
My painting style:
Imbued with an organic, ethereal quality, my emotion rich work is characterised by a chaotic rainbow palette; clashing and complimentary colours competing together side by side, layered with a mix of calmer muted washes and splashes of bright neon.
My work is light and fresh with a joyful energy, and the compositions are a delicate balance of intricate swirling forms and concentrated layers of colour. Finally, embellishments and finishing touches are made which lets some ideas breathe, others left intentionally raw, adding further energy to each piece.
This new series inspired by tropical glasshouses I've been visiting around the country in relation to mental health and a need for a sense of freedom and finding a renewed and redifined sense of joy after the lockdown. The work explores that sense of wonder in looking up, becoming lost in amongst the unfamiliar yet enchanting leaves and giant fronds, and the incredible power and positive feeling of osmosis that happens when we as humans spend time immersed in nature.
This series has vistas that lie before you trapped in time, exploring how we hold favourite memories in our mind, each could be a rose-tinted memory. Utopian escapist scenes, slightly surreal in that they're a little too perfect, but maybe they provide just the tonic we need.
As a direct contrast to being trapped in confinement for two years as a collective with the world, this series explores freedom, nostalgia, gratitude and enjoying the simple things such as beautiful memories or a holiday that maybe we took for granted before.
I've been visiting tropical pavilions around the country for inspiration, as well as drawing from memories of my childhood in Szarvas, Hungary and many travels over the years. This nostalgic series invites you to heal in the simple wonders of taking a moment for yourself to look up, and become lost in amongst the flora.