Then & Now
16th January to 11th March 2017
Carol Rhodes was born in Dover, the daughter of watercolourist Cyril Green. She attended Saturday morning classes at Folkestone School of Art before studying full time. She graduated with distinction from Canterbury College of Art and worked as a graphic designer in several London studios before freelancing. Returning to Folkestone, Carol studied painting with Fred Cuming RA at the New Metropole Centre.
Moving with her family to North Devon in 1976, she was able to paint full-time and has enjoyed several exhibitions. She regularly contributes to the Burton Gallery in Bideford as a member of the Westward Ho! and Bideford Art Society. Carol has had work hung in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol. Her studio has a panoramic view of Exmoor, which features in many paintings.
In March 2006 Carol suffered a stroke which left her entire right hand side paralysed. Within days, in hospital, she asked for a pencil and a sketchbook, and began to draw with her untrained left hand. These drawings of her fellow patients are shaky and spidery, but compassionate. They have a tender beauty. Since that beginning she has worked hard to achieve dexterity again, and her painting has become even stronger than her earlier work. Her sense of colour and composition were unaffected by the stroke.
Carol is an inspiration to other stroke sufferers who believe their lives have been totally shattered. This exhibition displays works from before the stroke, some of the hospital drawings, as well as recent works. It is a display of her determination not to be defeated. She has become again a fine painter; you would never know that she had had to "start from scratch".
Tall Chair by Carol Rhodes
Green and White Chair by Carol Rhodes