Caro Woods MA
Caro Woods, (born 1954). Aged 18, Caro studied at the Sir John Cass School of Art, London before gaining her MA in ‘Contemporary Visual Practice’ at Falmouth School of Art in 2003. She currently lives and works in a converted Methodist Chapel on Dartmoor, having moved from her tiny cottage in West Penwith, Cornwall in 2017.
Widowed shortly after her first marriage at the age of 24, a move to the Channel Islands in 1989, re-marriage and the birth of her two children, Caro began to find her visual ‘voice’ when she started to tramp the cliff paths of Jersey, recording the landscape in pocket-sized sketch books. This obsession with walking in the landscape in search of the perfect light or the perfect composition, resulted in a practice that was as much about walking in nature as it was about painting, becoming increasingly fascinated by the land as a multi-faceted mass of geology, archeology, energetic forces, pathways and tangible ley lines that echo down through the ages.
“In fact, everything that has been imprinted onto our landscape, including mythological archetypes and folklore, as well as pagan rituals that embrace the rhythmic cycles of life and death in nature. I feel a natural gravitation towards the places that still show traces of where our ancestors would have lived, worked, walked their paths and practiced their rituals at stone circles, menhirs, sacred groves, and ancient burial mounds. And by ‘tuning in’ to my surroundings, it also seems a natural progression for me to use my understanding of the healing power of nature and the environment to work with the earth energies, ley lines and chakras of the earth’s body, applied via vibrations of my own internal chakras, footsteps and reflective thoughts. I have come to understand this as a form of embodied spiritualism”
Recognising the paths we follow are loaded with metaphors for life and pursuing her deep interest in spirituality, Caro’s practice evolved into a search for an aesthetic that mirrors her own spiritual journey. She has endeavoured to deepen her connections to nature, reaching out for guidance to the ‘otherworld’, the spiritual realm beyond our own physical world. She began to see herself as an Artist Pilgrim and her work increasingly concerned with concepts surrounding the ideas and practice of pilgrimage, using metaphor and magic to make sense of the mysteries of the natural world.