Inner Beauty Is… with Caroline Walls

Caroline Walls is an Australian artist, working across a number of media, including painting, drawing, soft sculpture and print-making. With a strong sense of colour and graphic form, Caroline Walls is a visual artist who creates work with a skilled and fluid approach to aesthetics.

In her own words, she is “inspired by everyday human experiences and the fluidity and movement of the human body”, and in every sense, her work embodies these sentiments. Prepare to be inspired…


You said you wanted creative autonomy after years within an agency environment. Is this liberating or terrifying?

The leap into art-making full-time was not as terrifying as you might imagine – I was able to balance my fears with the comfort that I could always pick up freelance design work if I needed to. But I strongly believe once you make a decision for yourself to begin something new that feels true and you set an intention for it, doors open and opportunities tend to present themselves to make it a reality. Liberating is absolutely the word.


You were quoted saying " …I'm also interested in what lies beneath the surface, I guess it's the unseen aspect of a woman that's so easy to overlook." Would you say this is your interpretation of the inner beauty of women, and how do you aim to capture this?

I love the intricacies and layers of being a woman that we often try to mask in some way to conform to societal norms and expectations – but I think when people allow their authentic selves to bubble to the surface and let their individualism shine through, that’s where the magic is. My work is reductive in nature, with its very minimalist use of form and colour, which aims to imply the feminine, rather than transcribe it – stripping away all outer excess and revel in womanhood in its purest sense.


Why do you think that until recently the female form has been mostly captured by male artists? What do you think this says about women, and society?

Unfortunately, there have always been women artists throughout time keenly focused on depicting the female form in their art practice but, for ingrained societal reasons, women artists have been deeply underrepresented and marginalised in the history books – not to mention in major galleries around the world. This goes for not only women artists interested in the female form but women artists and their practice generally. Certainly there have been gains for women artists since the feminist movement really kicked off in the 70s but there is still a long way to go to reach true gender equality in the arts.


You've said that you like to have an idea of what you will paint, but that you allow room for movement, which is a beautiful term. Do you feel your paintings develop their own sense of self, or energy? And if yes, can you give an example of when a painting has become something you didn't expect?

Yes, absolutely. When creating a new work I tend to begin with a composition I’ve sketched on paper in basic pencil line work so it is not until I begin to build the fine layers of paint onto the canvas surface that these bodily forms come into their own. The forms start as these very gentle, shadowy silhouettes and as I build more and more layers of paint they begin to take life and become ‘whole’.


What does inner beauty mean to you?

Love for your authentic self – listening to and respecting your inner voice.


Can you give us an example of a time you've listened to your gut instinct?

I use my intuition, or my gut instinct, so often it has become second nature. I use it for both day-to-day decision making in my business, as well as much larger life decisions like choosing to live in other countries or leaving the security of full-time employment to practice art. I always follow my gut over being too pragmatic, I think your gut instinct always looks out for you and has your best interest at heart.


What do you do to get your daily GLOW on?

I keep a very simple routine involving a morning walk, a freshly made leafy green juice, cleanser, moisturiser, a little bronzing powder and mascara.

Sometimes you just need to… step away from your life and explore new places.

Start each day like it’s your… day to create something beautiful, whatever that idea of beautiful may mean to you.

Wednesday’s make me feel… as good as the next. Working for myself means a Wednesday could feel like a weekend or a heavy duty work day.


What does inner beauty mean to you? Join the conversation by heading to @TheBeautyChef


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