'The Party Animal', Caroline Walker

Painting of a female figure sat in front of a make-up mirror in the corner of a room with a cat beside her, a red hat on her head and an umbrella propped against the wall.

Oil on canvas, 130.5 x 150cm, 2006

Artist's statement

My paintings are formalised fictions concerned with the strange or ambiguous which can arise in the everyday and the banal. They explore the notion of disappointed expectations and a kind of faded grandeur of what could have been.

The paintings deal with domestic situations but investigate different aspects of these by the presence of the human form in an emotive space, with the viewer taking the role of voyeur. This voyeurism is not intended in a confrontational manner but as a passive observation of the idiosyncrasies of people’s everyday lives. In 'The Party Animal' the subject is engaged in some private act but it is unclear what this is and why she is in a state of undress. Her pose and position within the painting make her appear more vulnerable. By keeping the central area of the painting quite empty the attention of the viewer is focused on the objects in the room and their importance as narrative tools.

I investigate the connotations of the figure alone and how this can be interpreted in an unsettling way. Perhaps it is not that the figure is alone: rather, the context is created of a person in a space where there could or should be other people. Narrative is suggested in the work, without it being clear if there really is any story. There might be something happening but equally, there might not.


Caroline Walker was born in Dunfermline in 1982. She studied at Glasgow School of Art 2000-04. Since her Degree Show Glasgow School of Art 2004 her shows include Scottish Drawing Competition Paisley Art Institute Scotland 2005, Strange Currencies Park Circus Glasgow 2005, The Space You’re Not In Oranmore Glasgow 2005, group exhibition Open Eye Gallery Edinburgh 2005, Lived In Chapel Gallery Ormskirk 2006 and ArtFutures Scotland 2006 Millennium Hotel Glasgow 2006. Solo exhibitions were at Arthouse Hotel and Arteries Gallery Glasgow 2004 and Loungers Can Serrat International Artists’ Residency Barcelona 2005.