Collector’s Choice: Catherine Redmayne

Above image:  “Little Red Riding Hat,” by Catherine Redmayne. ‘Found subject’ on random monotype .  Below: “Spotted Boots,”  by Catherine Redmayne. Sharpie drawing and gesso over collage.





Catherine Redmayne

London, England
“Colour really excites me and colour next to colour is endlessly amazing. When the weather is cold, I feel warmest working with colours.

People often say of painting as a pastime that it must be so relaxing. Well, not really, as it can be very frustrating and make whole days vanish when you meant to do something else. But it is gripping and exhilarating on good days – we will not mention the failures!

I won a painting competition at school when I was about 9 and I have just one picture I painted at that time (squirreled away by my mother and found in her treasures) which I could not achieve now – paintings done by children have such a freshness.

Since those distant days, I have played with all sorts of different techniques, been to many workshops, exhibited many pictures, sold quite a few, bought hundreds of books, run workshops for fun and for cash, visited dozens of exhibitions – and generally been interested in art.”   Statement by Catherine Redmayne


Green-Bridge-Redmayne“Green Bridge,” by Catherine Redmayne.  Collage, sanding, gold leaf.


Floodlights-Redmayne“Flood Lights,” by Catherine Redmayne. Paint and collage.


Cheerful-garden-Redmayne“Cheerful Garden,” by Catherine Redmayne. Drawing over ‘patchwork’ collage.




Catherine’s love of making art stems from her childhood, when she found her true gift of expression through the visual world. Upon looking back at a work of art she created at age 9, she recognized the joy and power of the creative child, and looks to this spirit to empower her works to this day.



 “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up,” said the master artist Pablo Picasso. I would say that Catherine has definitely maintained and nourished her creative inner-child artist, by looking at her current creations. The joy, simplicity and child-like wonder of a story-tale world surrounds us as we look at each of the images shown here.



 Spontaneity and exuberance dance across the surface of each image, from “Cheerful Garden,” to “Little Red Riding Hat.”  Most definitely not contrived, these original pieces bring to the foreground all sorts of childhood memories that were once lost to a layer of rushing adulthood demands.



 Look at these pieces and you may remember your own joyful childhood moments, and feast on the joy of all lost childhood, found once again.



Written by Janis Kirstein




Little-landscape-Redmayne“Little Landscape,” by Catherine Redmayne. Paint and collage.


Paradise-gardens-Redmayne“Paradise Gardens,” by Catherine Redmayne.  Monotype layers.



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EVERY KID LOVES TO PAINT: Syrian Refugees Get Educational Experience in Southern Turkey



Syrian refugee schools flourish in southern Turkey
By Clare Richardson JANUARY 2, 2014 Reuters
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Reyhanli, Turkey – In a classroom in southern Turkey, 8-year-old children proudly display their colored-pencil drawings. They include images of the things that make them happiest: hearts, houses and other images typical for children their age. They also show anti-aircraft missiles and revolutionary flags.

Syrian girls attending Al Salam school draw pictures in a workshop with the program Zeitouna in Reyhanli, Turkey, on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. (Credit: Clare Richardson)

In Reyhanli, a small town in Turkey’s southernmost province of Hatay, children who have fled the war in Syria attend school at Al Salam, where displaced Syrian teachers conduct classes in Arabic. Despite tensions with local communities, Syrian schools have cropped up in southern Turkey to serve a flood of refugee children in their native tongue.

When headmistress Hazar Al Mahayni opened Al Salam – or “peace” school – in October 2012, she expected to enroll about 300 students. In the first week of school, 900 turned up.

Al Salam is one of six Syrian schools operating in Reyhanli. Once part of Syria, Hatay became its own republic for one year before voting to join Turkey in 1939. Reyhanli’s position on the Turkish-Syrian border, a short trip from Aleppo, makes it a convenient destination for refugees. Many of the men cross back into Syria each day to work or fight, leaving their wives and children on the Turkish side, Al Mahayni says.

In Gaziantep, a city of over 1 million people in southern Turkey, the Levant Center opened a sparkling new facility this October to teach approximately 500 Syrian students from the age of 2 until adulthood.

Ahmad Chalati, the school’s director, used to run Academia Institute in Aleppo, Syria. He says the Levant Center is the first private school for Syrian children in Gaziantep.

Muna shows the paint on her hands from painting a mural on the wall of Al Salam School in Reyhanli, Turkey, on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. (Credit: Clare Richardson)

The heads of both the Levant Center and Al Salam say their schools are funded independently – Chalati’s through a private investor and Al Mahayni’s through private donations, charity drives and tuition from a sister school in Montreal. Both schools want to offer students an education in their own language without involving them in politics.

Syrian children arrive in Turkey unable to communicate in Turkish, a hindrance that isolates them from the local community.

“Children feel like strangers because of the language barrier,” Al Mahayni says.

Syrian teachers at the Levant Center teach lessons in English and Arabic, and students take a Turkish language class once a week.

Twenty-year-old student Safi left the University of Aleppo after his second year studying architecture. Now he prepares for the TOEFL at the Levant Center with the hope of winning admission to his school of choice, the University of Gaziantep. He hopes to continue his studies in architecture, a subject he considers important for the future of Syria.

“That will be very necessary to rebuild the country after the war,” he said.

From Saturday through Thursday, Al Salam school runs three rotations a day based on age group. Each child receives three hours of education each day, following a modified version of the Syrian school curriculum.

One year ago, Al Mahayni worked as a pharmacist in Montreal, Canada. On Saturdays she volunteered at École Al Salam, an Islamic Arabic school. When war broke out in Syria, she and her colleagues decided to open a branch of the school in Reyhanli.

“They come here singing revolutionary songs, and we try to teach them children’s songs,” Al Mahayni says.

Ahmad, Muhamah, Harun, and Abdulla pose in front of the gate they helped paint at the entrance to Al Salam School in Reyhanli, Turkey, on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. (Credit: Nick St. Oegger)

The children did not escape Syria’s war when they arrived in Reyhanli. In May 2013, two car bombs exploded in the town center, killing more than 50 people in what was called the deadliest terrorist attack on Turkish soil.

Tensions between migrant Syrians and the local population rose afterward as locals blamed immigrants for attracting the violence.

Al Mahayni says the bombings added to Syrian families’ isolation in Reyhanli. Parents keep children inside for their safety, and as the demand for housing skyrockets, entire families often live crowded together in single rooms. Al Mahayni says many arrive in Turkey undocumented and try to keep a low profile in the community.

As a winter storm bore down on the region and the temperature plunged below freezing this month, Syrian children at Al Salam painted murals, played soccer — 20-kids to a side — and took lessons in storyboarding during a week of programming through Zeitouna, an educational mentoring program for displaced Syrian children supported by the Karam Foundation and funded by private donations from organizations such as the Syrian American Medical Society and the Sagar Foundation.

Royan, wearing a trash bag as a smock, holds up a victory sign while painting a mural in Reyhanli, Turkey, on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. (Credit: Clare Richardson)

Artists from AptART, an organization working to create art with children affected by conflict and commissioned by Zeitouna for the project, dressed students in makeshift trash-bag smocks to paint a skyline on the school wall. Turkish military convoys rolled down a road overlooking Al Salam’s courtyard, framed by the snow-capped mountains of Syria.

A team of dentists set up shop in a classroom to do sealants, give fluoride treatments and extract teeth on site. Children lined up nervously outside, several leaving the makeshift clinic with tears in their eyes, cotton wads in their cheeks, and dental hygiene kits.

According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, the number of registered Syrian refugees has more than doubled since March. More than 2.2 million registered refugees have fled across Syria’s borders, at least 557,000 into Turkey. The agency predicts the number of refugees could nearly double again in 2014.

One year after its inception, Al Salam school serves 1,200 students in Reyhanli. There are 1,000 more on the waiting list, and Al Mahayni says new children arrive from Syria every day.