Audrey Grant solo show at Edinburgh's Union gallery
Atmospheric new work from the Edinburgh-based painter
Edinburgh artist Audrey Grant’s painted portraits are a voyage of discovery for the artist as much as the viewer, a series of figures who have been uncovered by Grant as she follows what’s now a defined process. ‘I intend a figure, then apply paint to the canvas and scrape it back until the figure asserts itself,’ she says. ‘From there it’s about trying to make it work with the space around it, building things up with marks and incisions.’
The effect is atmospheric and sometimes verges on the sinister, her figures finding themselves alone in a murky kind of half-light. ‘I’m interested in our internal world as human beings,’ says Grant, who was taught at Leith School of Art, ‘and how that often seeps to the surface in very simple gestures and movements. The way a hand moves to the chest or an arm is held, and how that can tell us a lot about a profound human emotion.’
There’s a certain loneliness to many of them, it seems. ‘I wouldn’t say loneliness,’ replies Grant, ‘as much as aloneness. Solitude. "Loneliness" has quite a heavy feeling around it, doesn’t it? But often you don’t know what a piece is about until you’re making it. As a painter you can’t get away from your subject.’
Union Gallery, Edinburgh, Fri 1 Mar--Mon 1 Apr.