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 which unsettle and challenge the viewer. You sense that the narrative behind each piece is more complex than the motionless pose struck or movement captured in a snap shot. 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 McArthurs 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.She has exhibited successfully in the UK since 2001 and 2007 witnessed a first hugely successful solo show in London. 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.