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Elaine Speirs


Elaine Speirs was born in Johannesburg and later, whilst still a child, moved with her family to Paisley. Her experiences in and between these two places spurred an interest in the themes such as fragility, contradiction and reinvention which recur throughout her work. Between 1989-93, Speirs trained at Edinburgh College of Art and after that, at the Slade School of Fine Art in London between 1993-95.

Speirs explores the stark contrast that she has observed between the rich contours of femalepersonhood and the depersonalised portraits of women that frequently appear in the public sphere. Referencing a variety of imagery, ranging from eighteenth century portraiture to contemporary photography and film, her work reclaims fleeting moments of humanity.

1996-67 Education Institute, UCL, PGCE
1993 - 95 Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, MA
1989 - 93 Edinburgh College of Art, BA Hons

Solo Exhibitions
2019 AndGallery, Edinburgh
2017 Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh
2014 And Collective, Bridge of Allan
2013 Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh

Selected Group Exhibitions
2021 The Stratford Gallery
2021 Artis Focus Week, And Gallery
2020 Winter Exhibition And Gallery
2020 Glimpse of GOld, Patriothall Gallery
2019 BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery
2018 And Gallery, Edinburgh
2017 Basel, Switerland Art Fair, Arusha Gallery
2016 Shortlisted for W.Gordon Smith Award, Dovecot Studios
2016 SSA Royal Scottish Academy Edinburgh
2015 Thompson's Gallery, London, Portrait Show
2015 Summer Exhibition, Gallery Heinzel, Aberdeen
2015 Scottish Summer Exhibition, Thompson's Gallery
2015 Mall Galleries, London
2014 Paisley Art Institue, Paisley
2014 Aberdeen Art Gallery
2013 The Mall Galleries, London
2013 VAS, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
2013 SSA Royal Scottish Academy Edinburgh
2013 Aberdeen National Gallery
2012 Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh
2012 Award Winner's Show, Glasgow Art Club
2012 Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
2012 Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
2012 Shortlisted National Open Art Competition
2012 Kelly Gallery, Glasgow
2012 Aberdeen National Gallery
2012 Paisley Institute Drawing Competition
2011 Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh
2011 Quartet, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh
2011 VAS, Royal Scottish Academy Edinburgh
2010 RSA, Edinburgh

2019 Shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award
2015 Purcell Works on Paper Award, Mall Galleries, London
2014 Shortlisted for the Threadneedle Painting Prize
2012 Caron Keating Memorial Art Award, Mall Galleries, London
2012 Glasgow Art Club Award

Studio Shots