Meet Cathie Pilkington RA

Cathie Pilkington is Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools and winner of the Sunny Dupree Family Award for Women Artists. Currently on show at the RA Life Room is her latest project; a collection of doll-like creations revealed in various stages of completion, which allow the visitor to gain insight into her creative process and discover her sources of inspiration. We are delighted to have her on board for the Art on a Ukulele fundraiser at Art on a Postcard.

Cathie’s art fosters a strong sense of childish curiosity. Walking into the Anatomy of a Doll tour feels like wandering into an old abandoned toy museum or factory, full of strange and unfinished objects that one cannot help but want to pick up and touch. Her unique creations combine the world of canonical sculpture with that of craft and through transforming a vast array of materials and incorporating trinkets or fragments of old objects, such as hand-me-down toys, figurines or porcelain dolls, her work conveys a sense of nostalgia for that which has been left behind and discarded.

Cathie’s fascination with sculptural practice began early in her life as she started experimenting with making and decorating animals out of clay and enamel when she was just a child and perhaps this also explains her attraction to childhood objects and items from the past. Now a veteran of her practice, Cathie’s poignant sculptures create a sense of uncanny familiarity within the viewer and ascribe new value and meaning to old forgotten objects. Texture, form and movement work together to provide an animated aspect to the dolls, their fleshy and carnal qualities almost bringing them to life.

Later this year Cathie will be exhibiting two of her works at this year’s Summer Exhibition at the RA, Reclining Doll and Twinkle. We’re excited to see in what innovative manner Cathie approaches our Art on a Ukulele project so please join us to find out more by signing up to our mailing list (at the bottom of the page) to receive updates about this project and to find out about our crowdfunding campaign, the rewards we are offering and be part of the process over the next few months.    

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About the writer

Katherine is 22 year old writer based in London. She graduated from the Courtauld Institute of Art and is an advocate for anything made or done by women. If she’s not devouring books and drinking cups of strong black coffee in downward facing dog, she’s fighting the patriarchy through interviewing women artists or giving you her heartfelt feminist opinion. She believes that the key to life is to be constantly interested in the women around you, only when we are mesmerised by the existence of each other can we truly unleash our greatest human potential.