Camille Souter HRHA

Camille Souter was born in Northampton but came to Ireland when she was just one year old. She was first a nurse and found painting when recuperating from tuberculosis. She would later leave nursing to pursue painting full time. A largely self taught artist, her work has won acclaim throughout her long career.

Within her oeuvre Souter has moved from abstract expressionism to a quasi-impressionistic style. She has worked on Achill Island creating landscape pictures and elements from nature. Of her accomplished works is a series of fish whereby she captures the unique and delicate differences in the colour of her dead subjects; cod, pollock and others. This series followed a more shocking subject in her abattoir pictures and meat paintings. These, together with all her works have 'a statuesque elegance to them, even when the subject is something as banal as silage bags. She is an artist who avoids prettiness while seeking beauty' (Reviewer circa 1989).

Souter has always had an attraction to places associated with travel: harbours, docks, railway stations, trains, canals. All points of perpetual arrival and departure. She has since taken flying lessons, a note which explains her unusually high perspective and sometimes skewed scale. Similarly, the effect of these lessons on her personal ability to escape everyday existence has imbued her work with a magical quality that alludes many artists.

Among her achievements Souter won an Italian Government Scholarship in 1958 and spent a year in Italy. She won the Grand Prix International de l'Art Contemporain de Monte Carlo in 1977. Her work is in a number of prestigious collections including Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Municipal Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin; Ulster Museum, Belfast and Crawford Gallery, Cork. She is an honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin.
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