Hand-made: Paintings by Lisa Milroy
Lisa Milroy is fascinated by material transformation and how one substance turns into another, whether it's fabric into clothing, ink into words, clay into ceramics, or pigments into paintings. Milroy is also interested in imaginative transformation – how a painting turns into an experience that can touch or move the viewer.
Hand-made: Paintings by Lisa Milroy brings together a selection of Milroy's work from the past ten years to explore the subject of ‘looking and making’ and transformation. The paintings in the exhibition focus on the relation between the hand and eye, and the interplay between thinking, feeling and making. The exhibition features a range of work that reflects the diversity of Milroy's approach to painting, including oil on canvas, interactive paintings and 3-D paintings.
Still life is at the heart of Milroy’s painting practice. The category ‘still life’ signals stillness and movement, contemplation and action – terms that fascinate her and are fundamental to the experience of making paintings. In the 1980s Milroy's paintings featured everyday objects depicted against an off-white ground, compositionally arranged in a grid or a random scatter and characterised by a quick gestural application of paint. In the 1990s, she shifted from fast painting to a slower, more modulated approach. She began to paint objects within settings, and her understanding of still life expanded to embrace landscape, cityscape, architecture, portraiture and storytelling. During the 2000s, Milroy's sense of experimentation has led her to explore painting through installation and performance.
Lisa Milroy was born in Vancouver, Canada and lives and works in London, UK. She graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1982, and was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 2005. She has been Head of Graduate Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL since 2009, and Guest Visitor at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam since 1994. Milroy won First Prize in the John Moores Painting Prize in 1989. She was Artist Trustee of Tate from 2013-17 and Liaison Trustee to the National Gallery 2015-17. Milroy regularly exhibits her work on the national and international stage and her paintings are held in many public and private collections, including Tate, Arts Council England, British Council. Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London presented a major solo exhibition of Milroy’s work focussing on a selection of paintings from the past fifteen years from January 16 to March 18, 2018. Milroy has worked with the Vodafone Foundation’s Instant Network Schools since 2015 where she initiated “Hands On”, a practical art workshop programme that can be delivered through digital connectivity for school children in refugee camps.