Born in Bridgend, South Wales, Cherry Pickles took a degree in mathematics in Northern Ireland before going on to study painting at Chelsea and the Slade School of Fine Art. She has taught at a number of art schools including Canterbury and Falmouth and for a number of years was a senior lecturer at Cardiff. She has painted extensively abroad in Jordan, Berlin, Italy, India, the USA and, in particular, Greece. Much of her recent work has been based on time spent in Haiti and the Domincan Republic where she has developed a long term working relationship with the Altos de Chavon School of Art and Design. Cherry exhibits in Athens, London, New York and West Wales.
I draw because I get excited about what I see and want to discover whether that excitement can be conveyed in a drawing. Drawing materials are simple and portable and you can draw anything anywhere. It's a mystery how drawings work but they way they fail can give a clue as to how to go on with the next drawing – something that can make the process surprising and vital. As a mathematician I like to work from complexity towards simplicity. As a painter, drawing allows me to test the viability of an image. I like the challenge of painting people because images of people produce stronger responses in the viewer than any other images. I like drawing in cars because they are so ordinary and a bit dangerous. They also provide dramatic contrasts of closed and open spaces that are exhilaratingly elaborated with glass and mirrors.