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Our Inner Voice

A long time ago, I used to work for the Royal College of Art as an administrator. Some very happy years were spent working for really inspiring people and professors and watching all the student shows take place throughout the college.

Here I am in this newspaper photo helping to hang the RCA Secret show – a selection of small postcards – in the College. All the money raised from buying a postcard would be returned to the college in the form of bursaries for students who needed them.

The idea was, you would buy an anonymous piece of work and only once you bought the postcard would you discover the identity of the artist. Obviously, those with a keen eye would spot the Tracey Emin or Steve McQueen piece – people would spend days in the run up to sales night puzzling over the styles and personalities of the work but some artists would try and be deceptive – so it really was a game of chance as to whose work you bought.

This makes me think about our unique voice or style. We all have one (unless we are trying to mimic something exactly) and the wonderful part of the artist’s journey is to discover and develop this voice – or soul – in our work. It is often when we free ourselves from trying to make “a lovely painting” and just try to listen to our inner voice that our best work emerges.

Our unique style is not static – obviously we grow and develop our techniques and interests- but what makes each piece of work ultimately unique is this voice. So, when I’m beating myself up for not being original enough – or not making anything new or different – I need to remind myself that there is only one me – and only my voice in the painting – and this voice in my painting is enough… and yes, I did have a few postcards on sale in this show!

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About katherine palmers-needham

Katherine Palmers-Needham is a Berkshire-based contemporary abstract artist. For over 20 years, she’s been producing custom pieces with a focus on colour, mark making and surface textures. She has extensive experience working to briefs for clients and agents and is available for commissions. Her works are show – cased across the UK.

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