The human figure is central in the work of Audrey Grant, but it has to fight to free itself from the paintI am a painter, working mainly in oils. My work explores the human figure and the painted surface. My figures are mainly solitary and grow out of a dialogue with the paint. They are invented and imagined, not specific to an individual, and often reflect a man or a woman in the act of moving or stillness.
The act of painting is an emotional and physical process for me. Paint is layered on over a period of time, often scraped back and then added to again to create a ‘working surface’ on the canvas where I can move things around until a figure begins to emerge. The paint is applied with brushes, palette knives and rags, as though I am trying to uncover or excavate something, allowing the figure to emerge over time.
The poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) has inspired me for many years and in particular his Sonnets to Orpheus. The title of my painting Be ahead of all parting, pictured above, has been lifted from Sonnet II, 13, and if you look closely at the image you can see the title scratched into the paint above the seated figure. This painting is part of a new body of work I created for my first solo exhibition in London which took place in September at Panter & Hall on Pall Mall.
My work will next be shown at the Union Gallery in Edinburgh and at Gallery Heinzel in Aberdeen as part of their Winter Exhibitions. Subscribe now