Eleanor Adair in her studio.

Artist biography

Eleanor Adair was born and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. She left school at 16 and later travelled to Alaska where she exhibited her work in Wasilla. She continued her travels over the next few years, spending time living and exhibiting in Paris. Her work has been exhibited throughout the UK, including Liverpool, Glasgow, and London and in 1996 she was awarded the John. F. Munro Purchase Prize through the Society of Scottish Artists in Edinburgh. She has had no formal art training.

Artist statement

I'm intrigued by the scope of the human condition, our capacity for thought, language and humanity next to our potential for brutality, and I'd say it's this fascination which pushes me to paint. I'm also really interested in the role of self consciousness and how it alters our identity, so I see my art as a way of exploring how we construct and define ourselves through others. I'm heavily drawn towards figurative art and find the human form the best place to explore the extremities that make the body talk. I think of the bodies that materialise in my own art as an alternative account of the routine human form, bodies for eyes that like to wander. Recently I've concentrated on portraiture and drawn on neolithic and palaeolithic archaeology for inspiration. I hope that inspiration offers some vision into my portraiture, so that each face crosses boundaries of time and brings something of our cultural past to the foreground. I work mainly in acrylic, oil, ink and pen which for me works best at capturing the relationship of the constant shifts between the physical and psychological expression of human form.