NEWS: Exhibition of Silhouettes at Illums Bolighus Amagertorv, Copenhagen 19 March – 30 June
Self taught artist Katherine Scrivens (Eje) was born in 1964 Bristol, England to mixed raced parents. Her English Father David William Scrivens was a musician and her Indian Mother Pamela Angelina Todd a homemaker. Katherine’s earliest memory is of herself at 2 years old colouring while baby sister Caroline looked on.
‘Most children love to draw and paint and tend to stop during their teens. I just kept going’ says Katherine.
Her childhood was spent mainly outdoors with her dogs and sisters in the south west countryside of England or painting away at the family’s dining table. Her parents split when Katherine was 3 years old and she went to live with her Father and Step-Mother, Ann. Both of whom encouraged her creative endeavours.
Wanting to see more of the world Katherine moved to the Alps, Haute Savoie, France when she was 18 years old working as an au pair and going for hikes and skiing. She then moved to Denmark in 1984 where she also worked as an au pair. She quickly fell in love with the beautiful forests and coastlines of Denmark. She decided to stay and make Denmark her permanent home.
In 1993 – 1996 Katherine worked for Danmission on Madagascar. Here she contributed with her art to various projects including Primal Health Care illustrations and energy saving projects such as Haybox cooking illustrations and Growbags illustrations with UNICEF. During this time Katherine wrote and illustrated her first book ‘Uden Ansigt – Reflections and Poems. A book about the people she met and the terrible poverty she saw. Her second book ‘Verden tur/retur’ was written and published in 1997 upon returning to Denmark about her experiences relocating with young children.
Living in Africa for 3 years certainly enhanced Katherine’s knowledge of working with earthy colours and figures. Frequent visits were made to the local artists and figurine wood carvers of the Antananarivo market as well as to various batik ateliers.
Katherine never attended art classes but continued her love of painting while she raised her children. Her private passion of creativity evolved quite organically to that of a professional one. Friends and family buying her art at first. And then eventually she began exhibiting her art locally and further afield.
Katherine lives in a large blue farmhouse nestled in the country on the Danish island of Als where she has both her studio and art gallery. She paints almost every day and draws her inspiration from walks in nature and the changing seasons around her.
Visitors are welcome to see the gallery open most weekends or by appointment (+45 21420006) where they will find a permanent exhibition of her paintings and ceramics. Katherine is married to artist and popular Danish Entertainer Thomas Eje and is the proud Mother of three children Maria, Jakob and Richard, all now adults.
When Katherine was 7 years old she saw some cave paintings in a book. A fascination with these primal images gave rise to Katherine’s trademark style of what she calls her Silhouettes. Inspired by the simple yet expressive lines of the early cave painters and her 3 years in Africa she has created her own timeless women. The silhouettes embody the mystery of the female. Silent yet powerful. Traveling souls through the passages of time. Katherine uses a minimalistic colour expression with a limited palette as well as a more vibrant flamboyant one too. Two of Katherine’s Silhouette paintings have recently been chosen as book covers by publishing House Dar Al Saqi – a leading independent publisher of trade and academic books on the Middle East and North Africa.
Visit the link below to see Silhouette Paintings
An interest with portraiture evolved slowly throughout Katherine’s career. Special attention is always given to the eyes – the window to the soul. Her silhouettes live on inside each woman she depicts. These are often fictional women with decorative details and borrowed inspiration from various cultures. An array of colourful brush strokes in acrlic and oil paint. Sometimes Katherine paints a minimalistic portrait in watercolours and inks. Katherine remains totally unfaithful to any particular style or expression.
Influenced by many artists such as: Alice Neel, Tamara de Lempicka, Frida Kahlo and Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Gustav Klimt and the potter Beatrice Wood to name but a few.
Visit the link below for more Portraits.
THE ROYAL PORTRAITS
A welcomed surprise for Katherine was when her portrait of the Crown Princess Mary of Denmark was included in the censured exhibition ‘From The Danish Lofts & Cellars’ at Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen 2016/17. And again wen her portrait of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark was commissioned by the town of Gråsten and presented to her Majesty on 31.07.2019 in the Queen’s private reception rooms at the palace.
Katherine’s portrait of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark was commissioned by the town of Gråsten and presented to her Majesty on 31.07.2019 in the Queen’s private reception room at the palace.
An avid clay artist Katherine throws and forms her pieces on her wheel. Her silhouettes are a recurring theme for her decorative pieces comes. Vases, pots and wall platters decorated using natural colours like iron oxide and copper as well as vibrant underglazes.