Celia Paul, born in India in 1959 and now resident in Bloomsbury is widely regarded as one of the most important artists working in Britain today. Following a passionate affair with painter Lucian Freud and figuring in several of his canvases she emerged as an immensely talented painter, initially focussing on intimate depictions of family life before more recently turning to the broader scale of landscape and sea-scape.
Her memoir Self-Portrait (Jonathan Cape) is an invaluable first-hand account of the trials and rewards of making great art, and has been described by Esther Freud as ‘An insight into the white-knuckle determination needed to make great art, and why it is so few women painters reach the heights. An astoundingly honest book, moving and engrossing – full of truths.’
Paul was in conversation about her work with curator and art writer Catherine Lampert.