Carol Rhodes is a painter whose work often depicts oblique landscapes, detached views of non-places presented in aerial perspective. Although the source material for her paintings is often Rhodes’ own drawings and her own and found photographs, the final works cannot be seen as literal descriptions of an actual landscape. Rather, as Tom Lubbock has put it, they can be regarded as ‘fictional views or fictional topographies’.
In January 2013, Rhodes travelled to Bengal, India. Although born in Edinburgh, Rhodes spent her childhood in this region. This residency allowed her to visit collections of Indian miniature painting, a form she has been interested in for some time, and to investigate the region’s topography through drawing and photography.
Following her residency she noted that: ‘My early experience of India (its colours, density of detail), and then the estrangement from it, has informed my work in incalculable ways, and yet I’ve never wanted to depict India directly. It was very relevant to be working there recently… but the visit still wasn’t about describing the immediate environment, even though there one lives right in the midst of ‘my kind’ of things, like reservoirs and factories – all the features of a country that is at the same time post industrial and still industrial.’
In a recent solo exhibition (Mummery + Schnelle, 2013), the artist presented a new painting, ‘River, Roads’, based on a drawing made in India. In addition to other recent paintings, she also presented earlier drawings, aerial photographs and an Indian miniature painting from the early 19th century. Through the development of her work in print with Edinburgh Printmakers during 2014, continued to explore the importance of the relationship between these quite distinct elements to her overall practice.
Carol Rhodes (born Edinburgh, 1959) lives and works in Glasgow. She spent her childhood in Bengal, India, returning to Scotland at the age of fourteen, and studied painting at Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 1982.