Artist Bio & Statement
“I want my work to be immersive, regenerative, investigative and meditative. During my creative process, I am pulled, viscerally, through a contemplative pause, then Abstractions of my environment and collective lived experiences of trauma, despair and awe emerge. My works should take the viewer/listener/participant on a journey but in the end inspire a sense of hope.”
Over the past 34 years, she has participated in shows and exhibitions on many islands in the Caribbean, in the US, Europe and Namibia (Southern Africa). These included the International Art Project ‘Women of the World, a Global Collection of Art’ (1998), submissions and readings for Literary Festivals, an International Artist Exchange, ‘Carambolage’ (1998) with 8 artists from Austria and Dominica, a solo exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Namibia (2006) and recently, the UK based project ‘Wheel ‘n Come Again’ (2016), a dynamic Film & Arts program managed by Legacy Film UK for which exhibitions and events venues included Onca Gallery, Hastings Arts Forum and a 2-day program at Fabrica, Brighton in December 2016. She also exhibited and performed at the Caribbean Arts Festival in Barbados in March 2017 and at the Strand Center for the Arts in Plattsburgh New York (March 2018) in a group exhibition Post-Hurricane Maria entitled ‘Here Comes the Sun’. Armour’s work is in private and public collections across the world and she continues to show at various fairs and curated shows in the Caribbean and the US. In 2019 with Hurricane Maria as her muse, she installed STILL Waters Dominica and London, her first solo shows in years which were both very well received and complimented. The shows used highly emotive and interactive environments to tell the emotive journey of overcoming displacement and trauma.
Carla Armour is a mixed media Artist as well as a Pilates & Wellbeing Coach who lives and works in the British seaside city of Brighton & Hove. After graduating from Parsons School of Design (NYC) and the New York Restaurant School, she returned to her Caribbean Island, Dominica. Her first venture was to revisit artists to curate and install a group exhibition of paintings and sculptures held in 1988 which she also participated in. Splitting time between working in hospitality, crating experiences, the culinary and visual arts, Armour immediately found avenues to express her creative penchant through a myriad of media.
Recognition came over the next 10 years with invitations to participate in regional and international exhibitions delivering her message through abstract symbolism; paintings, fashion, conceptual and installation art, poetry and spoken word performances. Armour is well known for her Lifelines series, employing tribal symbols, hints of a spiralling collapsed DNA Helix and prehistoric glyph images and markings which continue to influence and inspire her work. With a multimedia approach, her current work more deeply explores shared interactive space, colour relationships and effects alongside ritualistic elements. Social and political commentary remain central to her pieces which deliver emotive emersion for reconnaissance, remembrance, resolve and redemption.
To view and purchase Carla’s work please visit her Facebook Page. Carla can be met in person at her Studio at Harmony Villa in Dominica and most often in the seaside city of Brighton & Hove (England), Her work is also available globally on Saatchi Art Online.
“Traditionally, my work has been investigative & meditative with social and political commentary thrown in. More recently though I have been pulled into a more personal and visceral contemplation which has meant my work has become more reflective of the lived experience for many of us journeying through traumas, inequality and despair.”
For me, it’s completely about process, meditative, visceral and somatic experiential painting and creating. I am all in! Playing and exploring with the effects I can produce and how that all bounces around. I use found objects, acrylics, oils and mixed media, collage, etc., I play with colour and their meanings, with automatic writing and drawing inspired by my life’s interactions and experiences as the source of inspiration for my work. Whether I am painting or writing it is purely about losing myself in the medium… the message reveals itself.
When I am writing which is often the way I start my painting, I can spend hours manipulating the shapes, spaces, rhythms and textures of words, finding the imagery and tempting the senses to see, taste or feel the patterns. No matter what I am making, I am honoured to be a creative who can find a space for sanctity and resolve when I can revel in the freeness of expression. Even when, moments after, I spend time reducing it down to lines and shapes and layered combinations that resonate with each other to draw the audience inward, it must be participatory. I want others to also feel the intimacy of that liberation I feel from my first expression to my last.”
A common thread in the work processes is the persistent feeling to include grids juxtaposed against organic and distilled forms and strong colors and markings. There are always layers and spaces reflecting maturity, calm and order in a chaotic world. The final stages of my paintings are an opportunity to create a restorative and reflective experience for the viewer com participant. Incorporating my ‘Sharing Space – Collecting receipts’ modality as part of exhibitions has opened up an avenue to access the uninhibited contributions on our collective trauma and journeys that broaden the representation of those lived experiences related to me through various forms and media.
As an artist, I continue to be inspired by Louise Bourgeois, Mark Rothko and Georgia O’Keefe, my eternal loves for their emotive and sensorial work. Other movements and artists such as Theosophists and Supremacism’s Hilma Af Klint, Malevich, Klee and Kandinsky as well as Mondrian, Albers, Sonia Delauney and so many others along that style who used pure colour for its emotive and spiritual integration continue to influence my approach to painting. Social performance and Installation Artists Carol Walker, Theaster Gates and Marina Abramovic also influence and inspire me among so many other writers, creators and conversations.
Artist Coach Consultant