Amy Winstanley

My practice involves painting as a process to take hold of one’s own perceptions. My work depicts a conscious and/or subconscious terrain, reflecting life in continual flux and the potential to be something else entirely. I am particularly interested in ways of interpreting the world through ideas of ecological, post-human and feminist thinking and through personal experiences of love and loss whilst looking at these existential questions in tandem with the mundane, light-heartedness and a degree of humour.

I am from a rural part of south-west Scotland where landscape, the natural world and a sense of community were strong influences on me and my art practice. I studied a BA (Hons) in Sculpture at the Edinburgh College of Art from 2001-2005. I developed my work as a painter in the years that followed, exhibiting throughout Scotland. In 2017 I moved to Amsterdam to do a Masters in Fine Art at the Sandberg Instituut, graduating in 2019. I am now based in Glasgow.

Please can you explain the process and how you go about creating a series of work?

I work fairly continually, meaning all my paintings inform each other. In addition to painting in the studio, I do a lot of reading and writing, walking and thinking. I don’t have a particular order of things I do within my practice, but all of it is linked and all of it is necessary for the painting to be what it is.

Who and where do you draw your main influences from?

Almost anything and anyone – to be nice and vague! Like most people, I take in a lot of visual information from everyday life, but also specific exhibitions and other artwork. I am particularly drawn to painting as I love the immediacy of it and the traces of the artist that is imbued in it. I have a deep love for nature and that can’t help but influence how I think about the world and how I paint. Recent paintings I have been working on where influenced by a book called “Bodies of Water” by Astrida Neimanis. I have also been reading the writings of the painter Agnes Martin and contemplating the complexities of the ‘simplicity’ of what she was portraying in her work.

Can you tell us a bit about any of your previous exhibitions?

I was part of a group exhibition for our Masters of Fine Art graduation show from the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam last June. It was with four other artists who I became very close to during our course. We worked well together in creating something that showcased our individual works without overshadowing each other. It was in a glass pavilion in Amstel Park surrounded by trees, a beautiful setting but not without its difficulties, namely there being no walls to hang my paintings! So it was a challenge, but we worked very hard at it and the exhibition was a success. We continue to work as a group together, although remotely as we now live in different countries (Scotland, Netherlands, Germany and South Korea), and we recently published a book of our writings that accompany our exhibitions.

Is there a message or feeling you hope to provoke through your work?

I don’t have a desire to provoke a particular message in my paintings. I prefer people to interpret them in whatever way they chose, if that’s negative or positive. If someone is simply pleased with the colours, I’m happy with that. If someone gets more of a deep feeling attached to what they see then great. I am aware that painting is an interaction with the audience, that viewers of my work are a piece of the picture so to speak, but I try not to hold onto what people might think when I’m making my work, otherwise it constrains me.

Any additional plans for the future you would like to share?

Most of my exhibitions and plans are now on hold due to the current crisis, however I hope these will resume sometime soon. I have two solo exhibitions to work towards at the Lunchtime Gallery and Stallan Brand exhibition space, both in Glasgow, a group show in Amsterdam and one in Seoul, South Korea.



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