In recent years Caroline Walker has become known for her striking canvases of women, specifically of women at work. These fragmented narratives, glimpses of women going about their lives in both public and private environments, begin as photographic snaps (often taken covertly) which are later worked up into lustrous, luminous oil paintings. They are sometimes playful, but can also be challenging, documenting the myriad social, cultural, economic, racial and political factors that affect women’s lives today.
As Marco Livingstone puts it ‘much of the effectiveness of Walker's paintings arises from the fact that as a spectator one is simultaneously looking into other people’s lives and putting oneself in their place’. In exploring this hinterland of human experience Walker offers both an intimate insight and a voyeuristic vantage point and takes her place in a lineage that stretches from the Dutch Golden Age to the incidental realism of Manet and Degas, and the intimism of Vuillard and Bonnard.
In 2020, Ingleby presented a solo exhibition, Janet, with the artist. For this exhibition, Walker turned her attention to a subject closer to home, creating a body of paintings where the focus was the artist’s own mother, cooking, cleaning, tidying and tending the garden of the house in the Scottish town where Caroline spent her childhood.