Colette Bain

Originally from Cumbria, Colette Bain is a self-taught artist. After gaining a degree in Philosophy and training as a primary teacher, Colette drew and painted in her spare time, but in 2008, she made the decision to focus more seriously upon her artistic practice. Since then, Colette has exhibited both nationally and internationally. 

"I'm inspired by folk, fairy tales and the natural world, as well as our relationship to other animals and especially the ways that we see ourselves reflected in them."

"I’m particularly drawn to narrative. In my 3D work, this resolves itself into a preoccupation with characters and the stories they tell. I create figures from papier-mâché. They become, in the making, something between a totemic figure and a 3D illustration from a children's book. These are ‘housed’ in boxes or vintage tins and then both are decorated with collage, acrylic paints, gesso and pencil, allowing me to explore and play with combinations of different material."

"The whole process is one of open discovery. Papier-mâché, with its echoes of childhood creative play, is ideal for this process. It also allows me to use text - reflecting the stories I hope may be ‘read’ from my pieces."

Working in an intuitive 'organic' fashion, Colette will often draw inspiration from the existing pattern on a tin to develope a piece. "The dove (above) seemed very appropriate for the worn black art nouveau tin it is placed in."

The central figures are made using the layering method of papier mache. "Often images or words on the torn strips of newspaper will suggest ideas and designs to pursue. This method is time consuming but can become quite meditative."

"There’s never any danger that I’ll forget the time completely however, as my dog’s sighs become increasingly meaningful and hard to ignore, until I’m forced to finish for the day and walk him to meet my daughter from school.
I'm out every day in all weathers walking him. Inevitably, I’m influenced by what I see around me. Woodland animals and designs that incorporate trees or leaves quite often feature in my work. I’m trying to learn to identify different birdsong and so birds are cropping up more."

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