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Audrey Grant

Artist Biography

Audrey Grant is an award winning painter who also experiments in drawing and mixed media. Her paintings reflect the human experience in isolation, often devoid of context and frequently inspired by poetry and literature.

Grant’s current exhibition The Long Look – the making of a Portrait with the National Galleries of Scotland is on at the Scottish National PortraitGallery until 27th October 2019. The Long Look is collaboration between Grant and the photographer/printmaker Norman McBeath. It explores the art of long durational portraiture beyond the conventional artist and sitter relationship, revealing what became a unique creative exchange. Grant created two long durational portraits of Norman and also the crime writer Val McDermid.

Her most recent painting exhibition, DesMeeres und der Liebe Wellen (TheWaves of Sea and Love), in 2018, was her third solo show with Panter &Hall, London. It explored the myth of Hero and Leander, marking a significantdevelopment in her subject matter and painting practice towards a moreconceptual approach.  She is currentlydeveloping a new body of paintings and artist books about ‘Arcadia’ in response to JW Von Goethe’s Italian Journey (1776-1788).

Grant’s work has been regularly selected for the Royal Academy SummerExhibition, London, and the Royal Scottish Academy, Society of Scottish Artists(SSA) and Visual Arts Scotland (VAS) Open exhibitions, Edinburgh. She won theW. Gordon Smith Award in 2018 and the Anne Redpath Award in 2013 at the VAS Open, the Tatha Gallery Prize in 2019 and the Open Eye Gallery Exhibition Prize in 2015 at the SSA Annual Open. She has recently been awarded an RSA Residency for Scotland to undertake research into a major new painting project – Morgenthau Plan for Creative Renewal atCromarty Arts Trust in 2020.



New Paintings, Artist Books and Poloroids

This new body of work takes as its starting point the idea of ‘Arcadia’,as a real place but also an imagined place or landscape. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe travelled through Italy in between1786-1788 and on a visit to Rome was welcomed into the Society of Arcadians, which he describes in detail.  In Italy he seemed to learn about the act of seeing and wrote about his observations of the natural world.  My Arcadia paintings are inspired by an entry in his diary when he travelled to Sicily, and whilst walking through the Public Gardens in Palermo it's great beauty and natural abundance awoke in him a vision of the antique world and Homer's description in The Odyssey of Phaeacia's Gardens. During the long hot summer of 2018 I found myself walking along the public footpaths around the Water of Leith near where I live, surrounded by an abundant natural world, past the circular temple known as St Bernard’sWell with it’s elegant statue of Hygeia, the Greek Goddess of health and cleanliness. Time seemed to collapse and there I was transported to the ancient world of Homer and the garden’s of Phaeacia. The artist books and poloroids explore further my Arcadia.

‘Women series 2’ continue my exploration and experimentation of the female form where I am essentially seeking to free the form from its usual gravitational perspective. The canvas is placed on the on the floor where I can paint from all sides. I thin the paint with linseed oil, solvent and water in buckets, load it onto brushes and lay or drip it onto the canvas from above, attempting to feel (rather than see) the sensation of the female body. As the paint builds up I blot it back using newsprint.  I have been researching the methods and materials of Willem de Kooning and the paintings are in some way a response to his ground-breaking series of ‘women’ paintings.


In this exhibition I have also included two paintings from my Des Meeresund der liebe Wellen series that explored the myth of Hero and Leander, which Ifelt, would befit the Tatha Gallery ‘s aquatic location.


More information about my work can be found on my website:

Selected Exhibitions 

2003 – 2004   Painting Course, Leith School of Art, led by Paul Martin2002 – 2003   Figure Painting Course, Leith School of Art, led by Philip Archer1991 – 1992   Foundation Course, Leith School of Art

Teaching, Curatorship & Residencies 2004 – 2014

National Galleries of Scotland
  • Artist for Louise Bourgeois and Generation CPDs for Art Teachers(2013 & 2014)
  • Absence/Presence Workshop exploring Beuys, Abramovic and Salcedo
  • Artist for Desire Project in collaboration with Scottish Ballet and Telford College, 2012
  • Unusual Artistic Practices: methods and materials – workshops for adults
  • Artist for National Art Competition Secondary School Winners Workshops
  • Portfolio Preparation Course Leader 2010 – 2014
  • Experiments with Life Drawing – summer school for adults
Edinburgh International Festival
  • Artist in Schools 2012 – Leonardo da Vinci and water
  • Curator, The Song of the Earth Schools Exhibition, Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Artist in Schools 2011 – The Song of the Earth, secondary schools programme
  • Programme Development Associate 2010 – Artist in Residence
  • Visual Artist – Enlightenment Desktop Drawing 2009
  • Lead Artist & Curator – Border Control 2008
  • Lead Artist & Curator – Twittering Machine 2008
  • Project Leader – Connecting to Music – Primary School Programme

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art – Guest Lecturer for MFA in Art and Humanities (2017, 2018)Telford College – Guest Lecturer for BA Dance Course (2013)Friends of the National Gallery of Scotland – Guest Artist speaker (2012)Visual Arts Scotland – Artist/Workshop Leader (2010,2012 & 2013)

Published Work 2019    
The Long Look: The making of a Portrait, National Galleries of Scotland 2018    
Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen catalogue, Panter and Hall2017    
Ceci est mon corps Exhibition Catalogue, Panter and Hall
2016    The Lifeworld Exhibition Catalogue, Panter and Hall
2015    With all its eyes the natural world looks out into the Open: New Paintings, Mixed Media Works on Paper and Artist Books, Union Gallery Edinburgh
2014    New Paintings Exhibiton E-Catalogue, Panter and Hall
2013    New Paintings Exhibition Catalogue, Union Gallery
2011    RGI 150 Years Exhibition Catalogue
2010   Visual Arts Scotland Annual Exhibition Catalogue
2009   Celebrating 20 Years Exhibition Catalogue, Leith School of Art
2006   Poetry Pamphlet, Front cover & internal drawings – Memories of Rain by Pat Fox
2002   Poetry Pamphlet, Front cover, Let Me Tell You About My Last Love by Pat Fox,  Shortlisted for Callum MacDonald Memorial Prize