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"As a child, the written word meant less to me than the mysterious visual signs, symbols and rituals of adult society. They held unbelievable power, promising the magical key to understanding the strange world around me."
This short personal statement from an early exhibition catalogue says almost as much about Caroline Smith's painting as one would need to know. Born in 1943 of Anglo-Italian descent, the daughter of a passionate and prolific Sunday painter, Caroline Smith was an outstanding student during her years at Reigate College of Art. Her originality won her the opportunity to travel, and gave her the devotion to paint and work through the difficult years that seem inevitable for the really innovative artist. Now in her late sixties, with paintings in public buildings and important private collections Caroline's international reputation is growing.
For the last forty years Caroline has worked towards her own unique mode of painting. Uninfluenced by current art fads and "movements" her work is a direct link to the earliest roots of artistic expression. The symbols and images that inhabit her vibrant and powerful paintings carry the same message as the earliest cave painting, Greek vase, or Egyptian temple wall. Her ability to handle, colour, two dimensional form and space in her compositions is a measure of her maturity as a painter. Caroline Smith's earlier work displays an immaculate and controlled technique that gave emphasis to her impeccable draughtsmanship. Almost impossible to discover how and with what they were painted, the technique was totally subservient to the image. Not a brushstroke to detract from the message.
The anonymous artists, sculptors, painters of the caves of Lascaux, the Temples of Luxor and Machu Pichu, the thousands of artisans who were taught and passed on in turn the symbols and sigils of their ancestors - these are her source. Each sign had its meaning, each colour its power. This is the language of artists throughout time and is true inspiration. We know so little of these ancestors, but we make our links with them in the precious and potent images that are still with us from the past.

The last few years Caroline's work has led her into an extensive study of the graphic images of early languages and particularly the remains of messages carved in stone. Heiroglyphs, Coptic and Runic alphabets the symbols and sigils of astrology and alchemy are the inspirational material that inhabit Caroline's paintings.













































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