Bringing National and International Art to Edinburgh

Patsy McArthur

Patsy McArthur was born in Glasgow in 1976 and studied at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, winning the Royal Scottish Academy John Kinross Travel Scholarship on graduation. Since then she has lived and worked in Florence and Barcelona where she completed a Masters Degree in European Fine Art in 2001.

She is best known for her unusual perspectives and superb draughtsmanship which give an arresting quality that unsettles and challenges the viewer. There is a narrative behind each work, which is triggered the motionless pose struck or movement captured in a snap shot stopping time. 

There is often a feeling of ambiguity, where her exquisitely depicted figures seem at once full of life but also in an empty state of release. The unquestionable dramatic impact of these pieces, intensified through the chiaroscuro effect she utilises in both charcoal and oils, reflects McArthur’s interest in looking at what our physical states reveal about our mental states. This exploration of the relationship between the external and the internal, and the tension between the strength and frailty inherent in the human condition, is integral to her work.

In March 2008, when reviewing the Affordable Art Fair, Arena magazine highlighted McArthurs work as the headline act describing it as – ‘Beautifully crafted works absolutely in touch with 21st Century Britain.’ In 2009, she moved to New York as an international resident at New York Studio Gallery in the Lower East Side and has since returned to the UK, where she works from a studio on the south coast in Brighton and continues to exhibit successfully worldwide.

Dream Sequence II

Charcoal and gesso on panel

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Charcoal and gesso on panel

Dream Sequence I

Charcoal and gesso on wooden panel

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Charcoal and gesso on wooden panel

Mermaid (Study)

Charcoal on Fabriano Paper

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Charcoal on Fabriano Paper

Open Water

Charcoal on Fabriano Paper

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Charcoal on Fabriano Paper