Alison Watt: A Shadow On The Blind

12 October 2018 – 2 February 2019

Alison Watt was born in Greenock in 1965 and studied at Glasgow School of Art. Her work first came to public attention in 1987 when she won the National Portrait Gallery’s coveted annual award, and in the late 1980s and early 90s she became known for her paintings of figures, often female nudes. In the late 1990s her focus shifted away from the figure and she began to explore the possibility of painting drapery as a surrogate for the human body.

Watt’s residency as Associate Artist at The National Gallery culminated in the landmark solo exhibition Phantom in 2008, and she was awarded an OBE in the same year. Watt’s work has been widely exhibited and is held in many prestigious collections including the National Galleries of Scotland, the National Portrait Gallery and the Uffizi in Florence.

The exhibition at Abbot Hall will include new work representing a significant new development in Watt’s practice, alongside a selection of key earlier pieces. Watt’s extraordinary paintings take the viewer to the edge of abstraction yet still suggest a powerful human presence or absence.

Related Events

Alison Watt Talk: Tuesday 23 October, 1.00pm

Art Studio Family Activities


Caption: Alison Watt, Helical (detail), 2017, oil on canvas. Courtesy the Artist and Parafin, London.’ Photography by John Mackenzie


Further information
  • Open Mon-Sat 10.30am -4/5pm; open on Sundays from 22 July until 16 September
  • Admission: Adult £7 (without donation £6.35); Joint Gallery & Museum £9 (without donation £8.60); Friends, Patrons & Benefactors FREE; Young people up to the age of 16 and full-time students over 16 FREE; National Art Pass 50% Discount
  • Location: Abbot Hall, Kirkland, Kendal LA9 5AL
  • For more information please call 015394 722464