Born in Liverpool in 1981, Payne moved with her family to New York at the age of four. Regular trips to the city’s world class museums and galleries were a part of everyday life and her mother’s advice to “study the greats” became a mantra.

These formative years were vital in shaping her inspiration, and Payne’s work is largely informed by her love of fairytales and dance, in particular the legendary ballet ‘Swan Lake’, which proved to have a profound effect.

As well as showing a passion for drawing, Payne exhibited a talent for singing and first came to the spotlight as a singer and lyricist in 2007 with the release of her debut album ‘I Wish I Could Have Loved You More’ on Deltasonic/Sony BMG, to huge critical acclaim. Collaborations with David Byrne, Kevin Ayers and Paul Weller followed, and Payne toured extensively throughout 2008/2009 with Mark Ronson on his sell out ‘Versions’ tour, before taking a studio space in her hometown of Liverpool to refocus her creative energy into art.

Working predominantly in pencil, pen and ink with occassional flashes of colour, Payne’s drawings are highly detailed and filled with delicate lines, intricate pattern works, and ethereal figures.

The artist’s first solo exhibition ‘The Age Of A Flower‘ debuted at the gallery in 2019, which also saw the evolution to explore three dimensional objects and interior design. Her drawings and paintings now transcend the canvas and are also applied to fabric, wall coverings and objet d’art, inviting the viewer into a world of dreamscapes and storytelling.

In 2021 Payne exhibited ‘Shooting Stars… Falling Objects’, a series of nine works on paper exploring movement. Each individual drawing captures a figure suspended in a point of motion, some kinetically charged whilst others peaceful and serene.

The stunning ‘All We Have To Do Is Reach Out And Touch It’ was featured at the Mercer Gallery in Harrogate in 2022. Originally influenced by traditional Byōbu Japanese folding screens, Payne reimagined the artwork as a large format four-panel painting, inspired by the Picasso painting ‘Harlequin And Woman With Necklace’, as well as the palette of Tracey Emin’s lithographic work.

Payne: “I wanted to create a painting larger than anything I had ever created before and to include all of the elements that I often use stylistically; female figures, the harlequin pattern, dots, defined black lines creating coils and waves of flowing hair.”

In 2016 Payne relocated to Yorkshire and now shares a studio with her partner, artist Thomas James Butler.

Photograph courtesy of Christopher Morrison, 2019.


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BBC 6 Music: Art Is Everywhere

Candie Payne joins Mark Radcliffe to discuss her debut exhibition and the links between her musical and artistic life.