Cherie is co-founder and director of 104 Duke Streets Studios, an artist studio and gallery space in Liverpool city centre. She has been shortlisted for the John Moore’s Contemporary Painting Prize, the National Open Art prize and the Cass Art Prize, and is currently working on a new exhibition for the Independents Biennial. Her work is in public and private collections and has been exhibited throughout the UK.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you first started painting?
I have always loved and experimented with Art. My family say there was never a moment I didn’t have a felt tip or paint brush in my hand and when I was 8 I started my own Fashion catalogue. I would design whole looks from hair band to shoes and would take orders from people for when I opened my own fashion house. I still have it now, it’s full of fabric designs as well as whole outfits and colour options, so naturally when I finished school I studied Fashion, Art and Design and photography at college. After college I gained a place at the University of Arts London to study Fashion styling and photography, I figured that course would combine all my loves in one. I found that my work drifted away from fashion whilst doing my degree and I become a lot more interested in self-expression and how I could use my work as my voice. My photography became Fine Art led and I began using my camera more like a paint brush. In my spare time I eventually picked up a paintbrush and felt the instant natural connection between my desire to express and the instant marks I was able to make. I felt it was the best way I could visually express myself and so here I am 10 years later.
2. You have a love for all things fashion related. Is there a particular ethos that underpins your work?
Fashion is a massive influence on my work. I love colour, pattern, light and texture and all at once on top of each other flowing and creating beautiful fabric shapes and shadows. I find the fabrics so inspiring, and I love the designer’s runway shows because its just wonderful to see how they express their visions through their collections. I feel like its in my bones and I get so excited when its Fashion Week time because I know one designer or another is going to blow my mind and I’m going to want to grab my paint brush and paint like a lunatic. Fashion is ultimately an escape. It is a dream world created by the designers. Maybe that’s why I feel so connected to it. I paint to escape also.
3. What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on 4 new paintings and a 10 foot mural for our Independents Biennial ‘Painters’ exhibition which is going to be in the old George Henry Lee building. I will have about 13 paintings in that show in total I think. There’s also a couple more shows I am part of this year so have those running around my brain too and I am also re-defining my reasons for painting and trying to fine tune my vision/statement.
4. Are there any particular materials you enjoying working with?
I mostly use acrylic and sometimes oil pastels and gloss. I love house hold paint too. I would love to experiment more with collage in the future but at the minute just good old paint. I discovered a wonderful thing recently it is Liquitex matte medium which you mix with your acrylics. It gives them a bit more flow and stops the acrylic drying out too quickly.
5. What are your favourite art spaces or cultural venues in Liverpool?
I love the Open Eye Gallery because photography is a huge passion of mine and I get a bit emotional that I abandoned my camera for a paint brush (for now). I also love the Liverpool Philharmonic as I am a massive classical music fan! Any chance I get I am on the row crying and trying not to make too much of a show. The sound of the live orchestra just melts my heart and I am the happiest human alive at that moment. Obviously, I could not go without mentioning my studio, 104 Duke Street studios which I run because we have an amazing bunch of Artists in here and the space is a dream come true for us all. Its our safe place and when you step inside you feel like you’re in another world.