Carlos Herraiz was born in Barcelona in 1995. Son and grandson of painters, he moved to Edinburgh at the age of eighteen where he began his artistic career at Leith School of Art. It was here that a series of ideas, questions and concepts began to arise; ideas concerning the passage of time, loneliness, isolation and oblivion. Through figurative painting Carlos explored these concepts whilst studying at Glasgow School of Art and Barcelona Academy of Art, and this remains central to his practice today. Having spent a year as a resident artist at Leith school of Art, and subsequently completing a residency in Kavala, Greece, Carlos has become increasingly interested in the time and space between past and the present – particularly the traces and memories left by moments passed. The deeper nuances and the abstract qualities of these ideas led to a more abstracted approach to painting, with the eradication of the figure. Carlos still views his work as figurative.
About my work
I am a socially sensitive person, and have always been interested in people – their lights and their shadows. I am always drawn to observing human behaviour and considering how human experience has led people to become who they are. My experience delivering art-therapy workshops in hospitals, and working with people dealing with mental health, deepened my curiosity in, and empathy with, people who are going through hardships. I am interested in people’s pasts, and the lasting effect this has had on them; the ‘before’ and ‘after’.
Over time, I have come to believe that we all accumulate the stains of our lives. Stains of experiences that have penetrated and soaked into us: a loss, a heartbreak, a frustration, a dream. These accumulated marks become part of us, they make us who we are. I feel that these stains of life experience carry a powerful symbolism – that they are the tangible reflex of something happening in the past that is no longer present. They are ghosts of an interaction that’s been left on the surface. The Japanese writer Jun’ichirō Tanizaki talks about a similar idea in his book “In Praise of Shadows”: ‘We love the things that bear the marks of grime, soot and weather, and we love the colours and the sheen that call to mind the past that made them.’
I am also intrigued by the course, from beginning to end, of something that is present, to something that it is absent. Like observing a fruit in decomposition, I am interested in the biological process of how something changes, degenerates, grows and decreases, changes form and colour and then disappears. How something tangible becomes dust, void, silence, memory, oblivion, a stain.
I would also like to explore the idea of the trace that memory leaves behind, as another type of stain. How, over time the memory gradually becomes less palpable – how the memory of an event or a person slowly evaporates until it becomes an abstract reflex of that memory, the trail of that memory. The trail of something that’s gone.
- 2018-2019 Graduate Residency (Scolarship) – Leith School of Art
- 2016-2017 Drawing and Painting Programe- Barcelona Academy of Art
- 2015-2016 Painting and Printmaking- Glasgow School of Art
- 2014- 2015 Painting Course and Drawing Course- Leith School of Art
- 2013-2014 Foundation Course – Leith School of Art
- 2019 – ”Rastrografías” – Pasaje Montoya , Barcelona
- 2018 – “Ausencias” (Absences)- Barcelona
- 2017 – ”Aquello que se puede explicar, ¿Para qué pintarlo?” (“Why bother painting what you can explain?”) , BoxBarcelona
- 2017 – Group show BoxBarcelona
- 2016 – Let’s Limbo – SWG3, Glasgow
– ‘Pat Tested” – Grace & Clark Fyfe Gallery & The McLellan Galleries,
– ‘Painters In Progress’ – Old Hairdressers, Glasgow
– Savoy Centre Gallery- Glasgow
– Grace & Clark Fyfe Gallery- Glasgow
- 2015 – Leith School of Art Summer Exhibition
- 2014 – Leith School of Art Summer Exhibition
- Richard Ford Award Nominated
- Spoon Prize- Leith School of Art
- La Vanguardia, article about solo exhibition ‘Ausencias’ in Barcelona – 24.05.2018
- Horst und Edeltraut, interview – http://horstundedeltraut.com/observer-and-listener-carlos-herraiz/
- Metal Magazine, interview – https://metalmagazine.eu/es/post/interview/carlos-herraiz
- SomoS Art Residency, interview – https://www.somos-arts.org/carlos-herraiz-interview/?shareadraft=baba31863_5eff7d386314c