Alison Watt OBE is a Scottish painter, born in Greenock. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1988. While still a student, she won the John Player Portrait Award and as a result was commissioned to paint a portrait of the Queen Mother. Her first works to become well known were dryly painted figurative canvases, often female nudes, in light filled interiors. An exhibition of her work entitled Fold in 1997 at Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery was the first introducing fabric alongside these figures, simultaneously suggesting a debt to the 19th Century French painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, as well as pointing to the possibilities of abstraction.
In 2000 she became the youngest artist to be offered a solo exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art with an exhibition called Shift, with 12 huge paintings featuring fabric alone. In 2003 Watt was shortlisted for The Jerwood Painting Prize.
Watt exhibited during the Edinburgh Festival 2004, installing a 12 ft painting Still, in the memorial chapel of Old St Paul's Church. Linen bound books were published to commemorate each exhibition. For Still, Watt was awarded the 2005 ACE (Art+Christianity Enquiry) award for 'a Commissioned Artwork in Ecclesiastical Space'.
Her subsequent project 'Dark Light' was supported by her Creative Scotland Award of 2004 from the Scottish Arts Council.
From January 2006 to February 2008, Watt served as the seventh artist in residence at the National Gallery, London. Watt's work has been widely exhibited and is held in many private and public collections including, The Uffizi Gallery, Florence, The National Portrait Gallery, London and The British Council.
She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours.
Alison Watt is represented by Ingleby Gallery.
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