About me

I work from a studio in a 19th Century Sail Loft on Topsham Quay. Boats are literally outside my door. From late Spring till early Autumn they move to and from their moorings on the River Exe. As Winter approaches my view is filled by the shapes and colours of their hulls as they are lifted out of the water and stored on the Quay. When the wind is gusting the studio fills with the noise of their halyards whistling.

Living and working by the Estuary, I try to capture the changing patterns of the boats’ movement. I’m often on the road in Devon and Cornwall in my 1970 VW campervan. Time and time again I am struck how these patterns repeat and re-appear in the harbours of the South West, from Dartmouth to Salcombe to Newlyn, round to St Ives and on to Padstow. Further afield, I spend a couple of weeks every year on the Scilly Isles where my work has been sold for a number of years in several galleries on the islands.

Caroline Hart Wallpaper Boats

I love texture in my work. I use ink, glue and pastels to make a cracked surface over pieces of vintage maps, navigation charts and paper I have collected on my travels. I have also sourced pre-1950’s moon and star charts onto which I mono print patterns of boats and buoys. I also make dry point prints into which I incorporate old maps and charts.

My framing is also an important element of my work. Typically, I source and use reclaimed painted frames that remind me of the sea-weathered hulls of the boats outside.

I ‘ve been influenced by 1950’s pattern design and the Cornish artists of that era, particularly Terry Frost. My work feels like “swatches” or sections of a larger pattern of boats. That’s why I’ve called my work “wallpaper boats”.