Katherine Hamilton, once a professional dancer, is now a full time artist who lives close to Southwold, the town which she has so often celebrated in her art. After having her interest in dance aroused when she was a pupil at Dartington Hall School, she gradually became more interested in painting. In 1971, aged 17,sshe went to Florence to study for a year with Nerina Simi. Simi was a teacher of Annigoni, famous for his rigorously classical portrait of Queen Elizabeth Il. 'It was another way of looking,' she recalls, 'but when I left it was necessary to throw off her technique, otherwise it imprisoned you.' After an unstructured year at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London, she was drawn back to the stricter discipline and immediacy of dance and she worked for some six years as a dancer and choreographer, moving between Amsterdam, New York and Ethiopia. After this she returned to painting. She moved to Suffolk in 1992, but has continued to travel as far afield as Guatemala and Kerala to paint everything from beach football matches to bull fights. More recently she has found inspiration nearer home at Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. Among her many admirers is PD. James, who has written of her skill at capturing movement, tension and mood through colour and form and of how the truthfulness of her vision 'draws us so powerfully to her art'.