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Introducing Karen Thomas
10th January, 2020

Introducing Karen Thomas

This January, The Pilgrm sees the arrival of new artwork from French painter Karen Thomas. We caught up with the artist to find out a bit more about her journey so far, favourite books, travel tips, and what drives her forward.
You'll be able to come and see her works on display in the lounge and cafe at The Pilgrm from mid-January.

Where did the road into painting begin? 
I’ve always made things, but really started painting seriously after leaving college. I sold my first painting at an outdoor street festival in Sète, France in the late eighties and haven’t stopped since.

How would you describe your artistic style in 5 words? 
Painterly, loosely dynamic, vivacious brushstrokes

Inspration comes in the form of...
A suggestion, a chance meeting, an overheard conversation, a photo, film or memory.

Do you have a favourite piece of artwork by another artist?
It's impossible to limit myself to one piece of work! I see as many shows as I can, read biographies and scour the internet to discover new work. I like to see things that make me want to go back to the studio to get my brushes out! Amongst my current favourites; Peter Doig, Karen Kliminik, Michael Borrémans,Gerard Garouste, Alex Katz, Todd Bienvenu, Genevieve Figgis, Jules de Bailancourt, Jansson Stegner, Oda Jaune...

What about your own work - any particular favourites?
It changes all the time and it’s generally the next thing I’m doing! My favourite piece at the moment is “Starlet”, a painting on sheet canvas 65x50cm, to be shown at the Pilgrm

Any tips for young creatives?
"Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises, don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned about doing good work. Protect your work and if you build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency. Life is like a roller coaster ride, it is never going to be perfect. It is going to have perfect moments and rough spots, but it’s all worth it" - Patti Smith.
“You must work, always work,” - Rodin to Rilke.

What does craftsmanship mean to you?
A world built to last.

The Pilgrm in 5 words.
Simple, sumptuous, sustainable urban luxury

What does a day in the life of Karen Thomas look like? 
A day in the studio might begin with some research or preparatory work, correspondance, document making, social media, buying supplies, a coffee in a street café or catching up with a painter friend, swimming or a yoga class followed by painting often late into the evening or maybe a film at my favourite Diagonal cinema.

Take us to your favourite place.
One of my happiest places is Sète, 'l’île singulier’, an authentic fishing town with a strong identity located between the Mediterranean and the Etang de Thau. Take in the panoramic view at the top of the Mont Saint Clair, visit the sailor’s cemetery and the Pointe courte. Try al ‘Tielle' at the covered market, have a drink along the quais and end a summer day with a concert at the Théâtre de la Mer - the backdrop is the sea itself.

What's on the reading list?
- Haruki Murakami, current reading ‘Killing Commendatore’
- Michel Houellebecq, ‘The map and the territory’
- Patti Smith, about to embark on ‘Year of the Monkey’
- Sophie Calle, ‘Prenez soin de vous’

Hopes and dreams for 2020?
An international artist residency!

You can come and see Karen's work at The Pilgrm from mid-January until early spring 2020, free of charge.

Introducing Karen Thomas Introducing Karen Thomas Introducing Karen Thomas Introducing Karen Thomas Introducing Karen Thomas

Further Reading

Read all >
1st April, 2021 JUST MARRIED

ENOUGH POSTPONING. Get the dress out the wardrobe, the tie out the draw and the invites sent out as weddings are back and we’ve been working hard to make sure we can offer you an unforgettable after-party!

Read on >
3rd March, 2021 Dogs stay free this summer

Your dog is probably just as bored as you are, walking the same route day by day. You could both do with a bit of a holiday. Bring your old pal to stay with you at The Pilgrm as we are scrapping the dog fee this summer!

Read on >
2nd March, 2021 The Felix Project

Over the past few months, we have been working with the incredible team at The Felix Project cooking up over 600 meals to support the most vulnerable in our community.

Read on >
25th February, 2021 Unmissable Art at the Royal Academy

We were lucky enough to visit the Royal Academy before it closed its doors. Read our review and see the virtual tours of the Summer 2020 and Emin & Munch exhibitions before they end.

Read on >
24th February, 2021 Extra treats for our guests this summer

Who fancies bottomless sorbet in the sunshine? The news is out, summer is in sight and we’re getting ready to celebrate with some extra treats for our guests.

Read on >
5th February, 2021 Less frills, less waste, more of what matters

At The Pilgrm, we believe in showing integrity to our planet, people, and neighbourhood, whilst honouring a sensitivity towards our build and design. Whilst we don’t pretend to have it all sorted, we promise to continue to do our best to never be wasteful, and to shed the things that today’s guests have moved beyond.

Read on >

Hello lovely guests, friends and neighbours!

Our lounge and café are currently closed however our bedrooms remain open for essential travel. Our terrace is now open and our bedrooms will be open to all from the 17th May!

Click here to find out more
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