The Argentinian painter’s new West Hampstead studio, still a work in progress, is a quiet, private space in which to reflect and experiment. By Skye Sherwin
Provisional is the watchword on entering Varda Caivano’s new West Hampstead studio, which is situated in a council-run former block of flats that houses everyone from violin makers to picture framers. The Argentine painter moved in just a few months ago. Her materials cover two bulky desks and art books are stacked willy-nilly on shelves painted in primary colours – both left behind by the previous occupants.
Caivano explains that her hectic schedule – which has included a Tokyo exhibition and teaching at Oxford’s Ruskin college and the prestigious De Ateliers in Amsterdam – has meant she needed to get painting as quickly as possible after she moved in, leaving the new studio as she found it, including its glaring lights. What is perhaps most important to her though is being able to shut the door on the outside world. “I wouldn’t be able to work in any space,” she says. “I have to be relaxed, quiet. I can’t share a studio.”
Photograph by Kate Peters