DOROTHY LAWRENSON

Dorothy studied Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 2004. Since then she has exhibited throughout the UK and was the youngest artist to take part in the 2007 Edinburgh Art Festival exhibition 'Beyond Appearances: Painting and Picturing in Scottish Modern and Contemporary Art' at the City Art Centre.

Dorothy is also an accomplished poet whose work has appeared in the Glasgow Herald and the Edinburgh Review. Her debut pamphlet Under the Threshold was shortlisted for a Calum Macdonald Memorial Award. As the founder of the Perjink Press Dorothy has undertaken design commission for, amongst others, The National Library of Scotland and Perth and Kinross libraries.

The Scottish and Northumbrian border is the starting point for much of Dorothy's work, often in the form of sketches from a moving car or train. The resulting fluidity and spontaneity inform her work in the studio; familiar features invite recognition, but elements often appear to be observed in passing or only partially remembered. Dorothy explains:

I don’t really see myself as an abstract artist; I like to exploit the peculiar abstract qualities of whatever medium I am using, without completely obscuring the landscape origin of the image. Knowing how far to allow the medium to take over is, for me, a large part of the enjoyment and the frustration of painting.

Working on paper – usually with water-based media – is particularly important for me as it means that my paintings have to be totally honest; there is no chance to scrub out and repaint a mistake. People have often compared my work stylistically to Japanese or Korean painting, and I certainly admire the discipline and sensitivity of the traditional oriental approach. My brushwork succeeds when it is informed by constant practice but when it also attains a spontaneity that gives life to the painting.


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