February 15 2016
At age 13 I sketched a portrait in pencil, the inspiration came from somewhere, no idea where, ‘she’, just appeared and I defined her in painstaking detail until she came alive and off the page. This experience had a huge impact on me and the direction of my life because in this pivotal moment, I realised I was an artist.
In 1999 I was successfully exhibiting paintings in London and across Europe when we, had a hit record, ‘A Little Bit Of Luck’ (DJ Luck & MC Neat Feat.) I didn’t believe I had a choice then but to put down my brushes and follow the music.
Finally in 2016, I am able to join all the dots, threads and filaments of my art & music and work ‘as one artist’, and I couldn’t feel more content or be more excited to bring this all together with the projects we are preparing to launch. I have been producing paintings, sculpture and an art installation to be released in tandem with my song releases. The paintings illustrate the experiences the songs are touching upon, so in effect, the paintings complete the vision the songs offer.
I recently found an old interview in my studio of the master, Sir Francis Bacon and one or two things he said reminded me that it is vital we all share our perceptions of the heart, especially at this time. I love hearing or watching other artists in flight and in the zone, in the moment and in truth, there is only ‘this moment’. It’s vital we fly with our imagination and look much deeper and scratch and scratch away until we uncover the truths. Art, and the experience of following our inspiration in whatever form it may be, is this journey for all of us, so I wanted to reach out a little and share more of my ‘self’ and my perception with you all now in the hope that you all may connect with me and share your flight with me in return.
This is an excerpt from an interview I gave on the Radio Arts programme at Centro de Cultura, Bahia, Brazil in 2008 where we discussed Art and my creative process and the difference in approach regarding my music, painting and sculpture.
We have been listening to your music here in Brazil for years now but we know nothing about you Cathy and we didn’t know you are also a fine artist? What inspires you to create, what moves you and can you define the difference in method used for each artistic endeavour please?
Cathy Battistessa: “It’s only the soul of the subject, issue or ‘being’ I am interested in. That is what moves me. My quest doesn’t differ, it can be a song lyric or melody or a portrait I am painting, it’s all the same, same level of drive and inspiration that courses through, just a different approach I guess. If someone is sitting for me it’s a huge responsibility and it can be a bit like a ‘reading’ of that persons’ soul. It’s so incredibly intimate; I appreciate and honour that trust has to be present always between the artist and sitter. We feel vulnerable if we are ‘seen’, we feel vulnerable if we are seen on a deep level anyway, sat alone with no where to hide … but I just try to read and portray the truth within them and not be thrown or seduced by vanity or whatever they may rather be transmitting of themselves”.
‘Everyone’s Child’ below was painted when I was pregnant with Jai. I was trying to read this little soul inside me, connecting with him and trying to visualise this being coming through. The ‘mid- painting process’ image below is not so far off his features especially the eyes so it proved to me that if we look with the heart we can see without boundaries.
“Everyone’s Child” First Original Pencil Sketch 2000
“Everyone’s Child” Oil on Textured Board – Painting mid-process in 2000
A New Humanity/ Dream People – The original painting in process Oil on Textured Board
A New Humanity / Dream People – Head study Oil On Canvas
The artwork for the single release, (Une Nouvelle Humanité / Sony 2012)
“Painting is very inward looking, it enables me to explore and tap into the unseen, outer layers of my existence and express all the accumulated energies and emotions in a very private way, whereas singing and performing is about bearing your soul in public. You have to be prepared for that and of course its highly energetic, extremely physical, it catapults me way ‘out there’ and leaves me suspended several layers out in the stratosphere… each time I have to claw my way back to centre, back to base”.
Sculpture on the other hand is a completely different experience. Creating with my hands seems to be the perfect meditation. It’s peaceful and healing, and for me it can be a direct and immediate release for held, suppressed emotions. It is a blessing to have artistic perspective and there are infinitely more pockets and threads yet to explore.”
Huge thanks to my niece, Jasmine Delgaty for formatting this blog .. and hugest of thanks also to Mr Ben McNeilage for pulling together this beautiful Vlog featuring my song, ‘The Changes’, my art and excerpts of the interview!
Love to you all, Cathy ~
Song Title, ‘The Changes’ Vocal Orchestration, Arrangement & Performance by ℗Cathy Battistessa
Music Production Davey Thomas Air Studios, London.
All Paintings & Art Work ©Copyright Cathy Battistessa
Photography By Josean Oyaga
Film Editor ~ Ben McNeilage