Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Raw Emotion

Hello everyone,

Something special is going on at UG this month, and if you haven't been in to see it, you are missing out.

We first exhibited work by Audrey Grant back in 2011 along with artist Martyn McKenzie in the hugely successful Being Human exhibition.  Since then, we have been waiting for this, her first major solo exhibition, and we have not been disappointed - this is an exhibition of extraordinary quality.
Have a look at this:

'Woman Holding her Right Arm', oil on canvas, by Audrey Grant.

And this:

'Man with Blue Background', oil on canvas, by Audrey Grant.

These are powerful and beautifully created paintings that have a strong impact on the viewer. Some see Audrey Grant’s paintings austere and somewhat sinister, yet there is sensitivity to the work that leaves her audience deeply moved by the viewing experience. This new body of work has been in the making for some 18 months and continues Audrey's exploration of the human figure and the painted surface. Her figures are mainly solitary and isolated, with her interest being in the presence they evoke in an unspecified space.  These figures often appear ill at ease, and this physical and emotional awkwardness forces us into a powerful sense of compassion.  No names, no possessions and generally alone in the world, they can appear as ‘lost souls’ who need our care and attention.  When viewing Audrey Grant’s paintings, there is an uncomfortable feeling that you know who these strange figures are, or can even see yourself reflected in them.  How interesting, then, that she claims that she ‘doesn’t know who they are’ – they are simply the result of her craft as an artist.

Audrey's paintings take months to develop: she is a 'physical' painter, who fights and nurtures her paintings every step of the way, and that can be an exhausting experience where often the hand to eye coordination can't keep up with the brain.  The result is fascinating – one can feel that intensity and passion in the work.  

But you shouldn't take my word for all this, you should have a look yourself.  Since the Being Human exhibition, Audrey has won the David Gilchrist Memorial Award at the RGI and, just three weeks ago, the Ann Redpath Award at the VAS exhibition currently on at the RSA here in Edinburgh.  So it is clear that it's not just the opinion of Union Gallery that Audrey Grant is one of the finest painters working in Scotland today, and I know you will agree if you come in before the end of the month.

Speak soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment