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Alison McWhirter

Born in Dumfries,  Alison is a graduate of the prestigious Bath Spa Academy (formerly the Bath Academy of Art) and over the past two decades, since embarking on her painting career, Alison has consolidated her position as arguably the most gifted artist among the younger generation of New Scottish Colourists,  producing works of irresistible allure.  

Enjoying significant and well-deserved renown at home and abroad for her highly original still life paintings; her range of diverse landscape motifs and her bold, compelling abstracts.  Paintings are exuberant in their colouring, technically innovative, and compositionally daring.  

Alison McWhirter Solo Show 2023 - Annan Gallery Glasgow

In them there is a palpable tension between depiction and abstraction; between what is observed and what is imagined; what is seen and what is felt.  Emphasising that her paintings are concerned with “pure feeling,” Alison  wrote that she was “striving to get at the beauty in the things that surround us, to that which elevates us beyond reason.” Her deceptively modest compositions – in inverse proportion to the profundity of their message – express an array of personal emotions while simultaneously exploring universal human truths.


Alison’s paintings are underpinned by her unquestionable sincerity and characterised by such freshness and enthusiasm that they appear to have been painted spontaneously. In fact, although there are occasional acts of last-minute spontaneity, they are fundamentally the product of long periods of reflection and introspection.  


Alison is remarkable for her willingness to acknowledge the struggles entailed in making a painting; in her own words “to embrace the mysterious nature of the creative process.”  


Her style continues to evolve as a result of her constant, restless, unquenchable urge for experimentation, and an inexorable quest for ever greater abstraction. To this end, she has recently resorted increasingly frequently to the use of her own fingers and the palette knife, wielded at times with breath-taking bravura.  

The dominant colours are often transferred directly from the tube to the canvas, then smeared or swirled at will across the surface, culminating in a sensuous, thick, buttery impasto. 

Over the years, Alison has attracted a large and devoted following of private collectors and gained the respect and admiration of fellow artists and art critics alike.  

Alison has exhibited to wide acclaim nationally and internationally.  Her works were included between 2013 and 2017 in the annual shows of the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts; and has exhibited in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.


Her 2021 painting ‘Pink Nude’ was chosen to be shown at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh.  She had her first solo exhibition ‘True Colours’ in 2016 in London, and her only Solo Exhibition of 2021 'Meditations on Colour' was hosted in the Annan Gallery.


We are very excited to have her back with a new major Solo Show in 2023.

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