November 17, 2020
Morgenthau Plan for Creative Renewal has received a generous Award of Scottish Government Funding from the Creative Scotland Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development Programme.
Morgenthau Plan for Creative Renewal is a major new multi-disciplinary research project about real and imagined landscapes. It will explore the complex and psychological nature of transformation as a metaphor for collective and personal renewal.
The project is a personal one, concerned with memory, loss and transition. At its core is a physical engagement with the landscape in which I grew up – the grasslands and industrial sites of Grangemouth – alongside a studio based period of experimentation looking at how the physical landscape might combine with the mythic. It represents a major shift in my practice from one based primarily on painting to a more conceptual approach, utilising mediums new to me such as photography, moving image and installation.
The project exists in three phases: Phase 1 (RSA Residency with Cromarty Arts Trust, completed March/April 2020) – an initial exploration of the project’s potential; Phase 2 – a substantive period of research and development (the subject of this Award to take place between December 2020 and November 2021); Phase 3 (to come) – realisation and presentation.
More updates to follow.
September 7, 2020
Paradise brings together notions of Arcadia and Desire (Eros the god of love or Eros the Bittersweet). It explores the longing for that which we seek but can never truly find. It is this longing, this desire, that interests me and which motivates our searching in life and in the creative act.
Audrey Grant July 2020
In this latest exhibition Audrey remains in the realms of German literature and the nineteenth century interpretation of classical mythology. Her style has progressed, as far as possible within the medium, to an even purer form of conceptual expressionism. The path from semi-abstract figurative paint- ings to this magnificent series of large scale canvases has been fascinating to watch.
In many places Audrey seems to lose herself in the canvas, abandoning representation to the joy of full expressionism and the physical pleasure of thick paint. The result is a body of work unlike anything we have exhibi- ted here before, a visceral collection both emotionally and visually, but most of all a very human one.
Matthew Hall August 2020
Link to Gallery website here
May 4, 2020
Written for the Cromarty Arts Trust Spring newsletter:
During my time in Cromarty I have been researching material for my project ‘Morgenthau Plan for Creative Renewal’. This is a major new project which will explore real and imagined landscapes – as a metaphor for personal and collective renewal. Cromarty even in lockdown has provided a rich and varied source of material to feed into my work, from the monumental sculptural oil rig platforms in the Firth to the mesmerising Gaelic Chapel and the ever changing light which is just breathtaking. I have explored these as subjects to investigated through a variety of mediums including works on paper, photography both digital and polaroids and short iphone videos. As well as a long-durational drawing/painting measuring 50cm by 10 metres which is a sort of stream of consciousness for my ideas. On returning to my studio in Edinburgh (whenever it re-opens!) I will try to bring all the threads together to create a major new body of work over the next two years.
Images from the Residency can be viewed on Instagram – audreygrant_artist
June 15, 2019
“[Grant’s] drawings are reminiscent of Giacometti whose images shimmer in an existential haze, present, but never fixed…”
To read Duncan MacMillan’s Review in The Scotsman click here
June 15, 2019
A new exhibition highlights opposite views of the artistic tradition
SARAH URWIN JONES
THERE is a long and venerable – if controversial – history of erasure in art. From Renaissance masters rubbing at oils to remove and reapply, to art restorers scraping away “superfluous” layers of paint; from Robert Rauschenberg, who used 40 rubbers to erase a de Kooning drawing in Erased de Kooning in the 1950s to Jonathan Owen’s contemporary Eraser Drawings, artists have long experimented with taking something away to produce something new. The permutations are complex, from simple necessity to a rejection of the past, from the rebuttal of received learning and inheritance to the idea that we can only create something new by studying then rubbing away the old. What is left, if we take everything else away.
In portraiture this is no less relevant. Artist Audrey Grant uses erasure as a key part of her process in working towards a portrait, as shown in this fascinating new exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
continue reading here
April 18, 2019
The RSA (Royal Scottish Academy) Residency for Scotland panel have awarded Audrey Grant a bursary of £4000 to undertake a residency in 2020 at Cromarty Arts Trust on the Black Isle. To undertake research into a major new painting project – Morgenthau Plan for Creative Renewal – an exploration of real and imagined landscapes, and a metaphor for personal creative renewal.
Click here for more details
September 15, 2018
Audrey Grant’s latest exhibition of paintings is drawn from Des Meeres der Liebe Wellen* (The Waves of Sea and Love) a piece by the 19th Century Austrian dramatist Franz Grillparzer.
Audrey allows the oil paint to do the work of the narrative. She creates a strong visual vocabulary and builds churning layers of light and depth. In these six paintings, the sea and tides become a metaphor for fluid emotion and the unforgiving power of nature.
They are a striking example of the artist’s exploration of both the human and elemental.
…Audrey’s exploration into literature complements the execution of her latest painting. Excerpts from the text are torturously spelt out on some of the surfaces, almost an homage to self-harming. The story of Hero and Leander provides a fertile and unfettered scope for all forms of technical experimentation.
Contiguous, there is a series of eight nudes ‘Le Figure a Nu.’ Each of these canvases is packed with an energetic force, almost metaphysical and lyrical in nature.
There is also a series of ten small conceptual oils called ‘Woman.’ These are primitive and explicit in their physical frankness and unashamed vigour. Combine this with Audrey’s tumultuous handling of paint and they rapidly transform into tiny radical expressionist effigies.
There is a strong sense from these most recent works that Audrey Grant is continually tearing down boundaries and taboos. She’s defining her own aesthetic by critical reflection, experimentation and progressive development…
To read Lisa Azarami’s full review for ARTLYST click here
August 28, 2018
The inspiration and starting point for this new body of paintings is Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen (The Waves of Sea and Love) by the Austrian dramatist Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872). This is a re-telling of the classical myth of Hero, the Greek priestess of Aphrodite at Sestos, who was seen at a festival by Leander of Abydos. They fell in love and he swam the Hellespont at night to visit her, guided by a light from her tower. One stormy night the light was extinguished and Leander was drowned; Hero, seeing his body, drowned herself.
This new exhibition has at its heart an allegorical painting in six parts: two large scale sea paintings – Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen part I and Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen part II; two large scale seated female figures – My nature yields, and yielding finds itself part III and You swam here, from Abydus distant shore part IV; and two medium sea paintings – Leander, Leander part V and Liebe, Liebe part VI.
To read more including Professor Mary Modeen’s essay and view the whole collection click here to view the e-catalogue
February 1, 2018
Audrey Grant’s painting Nu I (seated) has received one of the inaugural W Gordon Smith Awards of £2,000, presented by Society of Scottish Artists and Visual Arts Scotland at their annual exhibition OPEN 2018 at the RSA Edinburgh.