Saul Cathcart's work in Aphrodite

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. Your artwork featured in Aphrodite beautifully complements the space, can you tell us about the process behind your work?

All of my work is created out in the landscape from start to finish. When I go to a location to paint, I donít want to just document a scene in a purely representational way. It is important for me to get a visual sense of place, often with outlines of land, sharp horizon lines and atmospheric light. But Iím equally as interested in capturing the emotional experience, particularly through the use of abstracted colour and spontaneous mark-making. Some places I return to regularly have special meaning for me and this helps me to create something honest and from the heart. I enjoy working quickly and intuitively to make work that not only expresses the sense of movement created by wind or sea, but that also gives you the feeling of physically being there. As a result, my paintings feel more like a collaboration with the place rather than a reproduction of it.

We see that many of your pieces are of Cornwallís beaches, what else inspires you to create?

I am fascinated with colour. I hunt for it. When I see a particular set of colours that excite me, it makes me want to paint and I like the fact that I donít know why. I could see an old door with the paint peeling off or one of my kidís drawings. They could be in another personís work in a gallery window or by looking closely at a bit of lichen while walking the coast.

Saul Cathcart's work in Aphrodite

What inspired you to become an artist?

Itís just what Iíve done from a very young age. I got my first easel aged nine because I wanted to paint bluebells. In a way, I havenít Ďbecomeí an artist, Iíve always been one! It defines me. I started out with some natural ability which led me to study art, from A-level to degree. I have experimented through the process and found what is most important to me, which is painting the landscape I grew up with. I became self-employed in 2006 and have been lucky enough to consistently sell work ever since.†

Which artists influence your style the most?

In many ways, I see my work as a comment on landscape painting as a whole - so when you are looking at one of my paintings youíre not just looking at my own personal interpretation, but at many landscape paintings painted throughout time, right back to the first cave paintings created by man. I want my work to visually show a connection to what has gone before me and I am fascinated with manís need to interpret his surroundings in a creative form. The image of Turner strapping himself to a ship's mast in a storm, in order to capture it on canvas, had a big impact on me from a young age, it just made great sense to me. He, and many of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters, were obvious early influences of mine, but now itís more Abstract Expressionism. I also take great pleasure in scrolling through images on Instagram! I currently enjoy the work of contemporary Cornish artists; Mark Surridge, Paul Wadsworth, Kerry Harding and Arthur Lanyon.†

Do you have a personal favourite piece that you have created?

There have been many paintings that Iíve been particularly pleased with over the years, but my newest work is often what I like the most. This year, it has to be ĎIt is now timeí of Chapel Porth. Itís a painting that has real freedom in its construction and there is a rhythm and energy to the paint, and the colour pops! I find it refreshing because it was painted with almost brash confidence, but it seems to also have a sensitivity to how the light felt at the time it was made.

'It is now time' by Saul Cathcart

What three words would you use to describe your work?

Life, colour, emotion.