“Art was my thing, my safe haven throughout my life and my work is a reflection of this, my queerness, just who I am”
BY SAM GRIERSON, IMAGE BY BRYNLEY ODU DAVIES
Meeting Caitlin (she/they) for the second time, I am reminded of how infectious their happiness and positivity is, I can’t help myself smile and feel radiant in their energy.
“Have you always been an artist?” I ask.
“Yes, literally from birth. I arrived in a house filled with my mum’s paintings and I created houses and sets for my toys to play in, painting images to accompany my brother’s short stories and daubing flowers on the walls, so yes I was born to it.”
Despite this natural talent, Caitlin Flood-Molyneux was not given support at primary school, with one memorable teacher saying “You will never amount to anything”. Caitlin recalls how daunting this was but despite them, she still doodled in her maths books and continued her passion throughout secondary school. She later pursued college and university to study Design and Fine Art. Her mum was a positive driving force for this, encouraging her to follow her passion and be herself.
Caitlin came out at the age of 16, whilst at a local college amidst a community that was not very supportive. “It was scary at times, people were very closed-minded. Thankfully over the years, this has gotten easier, because you never stop coming out, but it doesn’t phase me so much now.”
She spent a year in Norway, where she recalls that “This was tough when you are from a working-class background with no backup. Everything was so expensive, but I kept going and the experience fed into my art.”
By the time they graduated with a Masters Caitlin was already selling their work commercially, telling themself “I’ve just gotta keep going.”
Caitlin says: “Being creative really helped me. Art was my thing, my safe haven throughout my life and my work is a reflection of this, my queerness, just who I am.”
“Emma Lang, SOTA Marketplace founder, was a big supporter of my work,” Caitlin explains. “And she asked me to exhibit my work in Christie’s Lates Pride exhibition in May 2023 to celebrate Pride and the LGBTQIA community. This was a massive honour and I was then commissioned for more of my work to be exhibited in the main art room. Madonna had her ‘Sex’ photographs on exhibition at the same time, which was a really surreal experience to be beside such a hero and legend – how am I ever going to beat that?” she laughs.
I ask Caitlin what her next projects are. “I have several big shows planned in Wales, plus I am developing my work around fashion and painted clothing. The way we dress is how we express ourselves and can be how we celebrate our queerness. I am so much more confident now to be who I am and I am proud of the journey I am on as a queer person.”
I ask Catlin if she has any advice for aspiring DIVA creatives and she replies with her trademark radiance. “Don’t be scared to be who you are. Going against the crowd is so much more powerful than being in the crowd. Embrace who you are.”
To view Caitlin’s groundbreaking work click here: www.floodmolyneuxart.com
DIVA magazine celebrates 29 years in print in 2023. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.