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Catherine Eckersall - Painting

Catherine Eckersall
After earning the opportunity to exhibit her work at high profile venues across Scotland, BA (Hons) Painting graduate Catherine Eckersall is looking to refine her practice in future by achieving a Master’s in Fine Art or Art Therapy.

Catherine, 22, takes inspiration from Celtic folklore and her own experiences of the rural landscapes in Scotland and Ireland. 

“I seek to depict the unseen landscape: human interpretations of natural surroundings comprised of folklore, superstition, and history,” said Catherine. “My paintings are constructed landscapes, composed of significant natural symbols selected from a body of imagery and stories, which are amplified through form and colour.” 

Among the spaces where Catherine has exhibited her work include an Interim Painting Exhibition in Edinburgh, Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, and now at Gray’s Degree show: a cultural highlight of the North East showcasing the creativity and commitment of Robert Gordon University’s final-year artists and designers. 

Catherine said: “It's a great feeling to see your work on the walls, helping to form a diverse and exciting show. I'm really looking forward to the Virtual Degree Show. It will give graduates some closure on a very challenging final year at university, and I'm very grateful that the staff at Gray's have put a lot of effort into this alternative way of exhibiting our work. 

“I hope that having a virtual degree show will also make it more accessible to people who would not have been able to travel to Aberdeen to see it in person.” 

As one of the students graduating during the global COVID-19 pandemic, Catherine has had to tackle unexpected challenges in order to prepare for assessment and the Degree Show. 

“It was a big adjustment moving my work from the studio at Gray's and creating a new workspace in my flat from dust sheets and masking tape,” said Catherine. “But like everyone at Gray's, I managed to adapt to the situation, and it gave us the opportunity to curate our work more than it usually would be for assessment.” 

Catherine became interested in art during her high school years and knew that studying at RGU would provide the independence and freedom of university life as well as a structured approach to developing her artistic practice. 

“I chose to study Painting as there is a lot of scope within this one subject for experimenting with materials and different methods of producing work,” said Catherine. “The whole experience of studying at Gray's was amazing. The atmosphere in the art school is so open and sociable. I always felt supported by my course mates and our tutors. I'll miss going into the studio every day as something different would always be happening, and I never entirely knew what to expect.” 

Catherine has now moved back to her hometown of Balfron in Stirlingshire. 

She adds: “Following graduation, I will continue developing my practice independently, taking some time to further my research and work on new ideas. Next year, I am hoping to undertake a Master’s degree in either Fine Art or Art Therapy.”

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