Shona Barr was born in 1965 and graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1988 where she was also the recipient of the Landscape Prize and the Armour Prize for Still Life. She continued her education at Statens Kunstakedimi in Oslo, the Winchester School of Art, Barcelona, and the University of Southampton.
In Shona’s work we discover an intense exploration of nature, ranging from the wild beauty of coastal landscapes to the exuberant and magnified abundance of garden flowers. Each painting begins as a watercolour painted in open air. The aim is to absorb the atmosphere, watch how changing light alters colours and mood, and to capture all this essential information on paper. Sometimes, only a small fragment of a watercolour becomes the basis for an oil painting.
Working in a bold and direct way to retain freshness and energy, Shona investigates the interplay between abstraction and representation, playing with the boundaries where completely abstract marks come together as a recognisable image. Always working from life, nothing is invented and the luscious textures and colours are always inherent in the actual landscape or flora. Rather than portray the obvious though, the final paintings articulate and distil something of the hidden presence of her subject.