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.

Now showing at the gallery are a selection of artworks from the recent Spotlight exhibition ‘Shooting Stars… Falling Objects’, including the stunning four panelled painting ‘All We Have To Do Is Reach Out And Touch It’. This piece draws from a variety of influences, including the traditional Japanese folding screen, movement and mark making depicted in the Picasso painting ‘Harlequin And Woman With Necklace’, as well as the palette of Tracey Emin’s lithography.

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; she is currently preparing for her next launch of interior designs coming in late 2022.

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.