Photo: Rowena Comrie in Glasgow, Scotland

Rowena Comrie


Concepts I am a painter based in Scotland, my work ranges from large scale abstract colourfield painting to smaller figurative work. "Rowena unleashes a powerful emotional force in a positive life enhancing aesthetic. An aesthetic in painting that is informed by vibrating colour relationships and formal balancing. The tension between colours and shapes offers to the viewer both an immediate spontaneous response and considered intellectual reflection. Rowena was trained in abstract art by Mali Morris, Clyde Hopkins and, although at the end of his teaching career, Terry Frost in the Art Department of Reading University, graduating in 1982. Although she left Art School fully immersed in the aesthetic of abstract art, she has diversified and developed the best qualities of abstract painting into figurative and landscape painting ". (Aspect Prize Catalogue) A body of figurative work of contemporary history painting concerned with depicting aesthetically the use of civilian aircraft as potential weapons of terror has been shown recently at the Meffan Museum in Forfar, Scotland. The horror of the 9/11 hijacks and crashing of civilian passenger aircraft into the twin towers in New York made me realise the contemporary meaning of the sublime in art. The sublime is an 18th century idea but I don't use it to paint 18th century subjects. As an idea it is concerned with the use of art as a way of realising the human emotions of immense joy, fear and terror. However it is not my paintings role to act as an illustration of contemporary events but instead to comment critically by summarising and symbolising into, I hope a witty visualisation of terror. Influences Gender; human physical predicament, colour field, the sea Career path From 1978 to 1982 I studied Fine Art at the University of Reading. For 20 years I lived and worked as an artist in Aberdeen before moving to Glasgow in 2010, exhibiting widely throughout Britain. My work is held in many public and private collections. In 1999 I was awarded an AVAAS grant for a project based around Hogarth's ' Rake's Progress', which involved learning new techniques using digital technology. In 2002 I gave a lecture on this project at the John Soane's Museum in London. For two years I was secretary for the Aberdeen artist's collective, Limousine Bull. During this time we published a book, curated a number of exhibitions and launched a website. For ten years I acted as the tenant's representative for the WASPS studio building in Aberdeen. At various times I have taught Art at Aberdeen University and Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen. In 2005 I was awarded a further AVAAS award for work investigating piratical activity in the NE of Scotland during the 17thC and reinterpreting this in a contemporary critical manner resulting in a collaborative show at Duff House, Banff. Currently I work from a WASPS studio in Glasgow's Briggait.

Location Glasgow, Scotland
Activities Primary education, Secondary education, Higher education, Further education, Adult education, Lecturing, Residencies, Workshops, Creative writing
Tags Abstract, painting, Small, testure, jewel-like, interior

News & Events

  • Shoosmiths Art Prize, Milton Keynes - thrilled to have been shortlisted.

    30/11/2015 – 31/03/2016
    Arts for Health, Milton Keynes Hospital, Standing Way MK6 5LD

    Exhibition of shortlisted artists for the Shoosmiths prize. Shortlisted artists have been invited to exhibit work at Milton Keynes Hospital and/or Shoosmiths Lawyers Office in Milton Keynes

    Find out more

  • 'Empire'

    An exhibition by members of the Society of Scottish Artists at the Old Rope Works, Montrose, July 25 - Aug 29 2015

  • The Liberty of the individual: ‘Beyond Space and Time’ New Hall College Art Collection, Cambridge

    Andre Breton described his surrealist world as ‘beyond space and time’ introducing a liberating concept. I have worked to bring into my art new thoughts seeking personal freedom through aesthetics.

  • 'Winter Delights' at the Tatha Gallery, Fife Scotland

    Exhibition of paintings including new work by Rowena Comrie, until Dec 24th 2014

  • Sky Diving From the Clouds Edge

    Exhibition at the Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen 30th May 2014 - 14th June 2014

  • 'Drawn to Abstraction' Exhibition at Orleans House Stables Gallery

    23/01/2014 – 13/04/2014
    Stables gallery Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DJ

    Selected Group show on Abstraction, opening on January 23rd until April 13th 2014

    Find out more