A Canadian Scot, Caroline Watson was born in Scotland and grew up in Canada before returning to Paisley, where she lives and works. From her studio in an old thread mill, she makes drawings using mixed materials about our relationship to place. In 2020 Caroline received a Visual Artist and Craft Makers Award to develop her interest in photography, as a new outlet for expression and an extension of her drawing practice.
She attended Fanshawe College in London, Ontario completing her studies at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design which included a self-directed residency in the Orkney Islands. Drawn initially to the archaeology of the area, her travels and research culminated in an exhibition about her response to the landscape and its relationship to the people, a theme that has remained present over the years.
Caroline has a strong commitment to the cultural life where she lives. One of the founders of the Renfrewshire based arts organisation WMT, she worked with her partners to develop diverse and exciting projects that benefited the local area culturally and economically. After 6 years, Caroline made the decision to leave and concentrate on her art practice. Previously a Committee Member for Creative Renfrewshire Network, Caroline was part of the research team to redevelop the network of artists and creative industries across Renfrewshire. Caroline has exhibited in Canada and Scotland in solo and group exhibitions. The natural landscape continues to be the basis of her work. In recent years Caroline has developed an interest in geopoetics recognising its potential influence intellectually and creatively for her own work.
Creative Renfrewshire: Artist Profile - Click Here
Scottish Centre for Geopoetics
Society of Scottish Artists (SSA)
Paisley Thread Mill Museum
Creative Renfrewshire (CR)
Creative Connections (Renfrewshire)
Click Here for Interview with Caroline for Creative Renfrewshire Showcase, March 2018
Caroline Watson – Visual Artist & Cultural Worker
"Caroline Watson has a passion for “place”. Both as an artist and culturist, this is reflected in her work. While advocating for environmental, historical and cultural causes in Paisley, Caroline’s art is recognisable from her attention to space and light within her mixed media drawings. Her use of colour and layers gives her pieces a transcendent, otherworldly quality, yet remains comforting and familiar. Thoughtful and grounded, Caroline’s pieces are inspired by our relationship to the places and world in which we live."
Corbin Miles, Creative Renfrewshire
I make drawings using mixed materials and more recently have been developing my use of photography. Inspired by the natural world, I am interested in our relationship to place and meaningfulness, balancing the use of materials and image .
For me art is about seeking clarity. Making work is my way of engaging with the world, working through ideas and understanding. I enjoy the labour of drawing using a variety of materials; the repetition of mark making, building a surface slowly and knowing that sometimes an error cannot be undone and hours of work are destroyed or re-purposed and then beginning again.
I always work in a series often repeating images, changing materials. My current series focuses on woodland and the depiction of trees, literal or abstracted, exploring the theme of place, touching on memory and attachment. I am interested in using light and space to create a place for connection and wonder. We need to move through natural spaces that offer comfort or reassurance, not always wild but nature as it is found in green spaces, parks, woodlands, local trails. It is about the in-between spaces where we have a heightened awareness and the connection to something more; not just a refuge but an extension of our emotional, physical and cultural selves.