Lorna Syme

Website: https://lornasyme.wordpress.com/

Email: lrs321@yahoo.com

Click on a thumbnail image above to enlarge.

Photograph. Yellow paint and scroll. February 2015.

Detail, watercolour painting 2013.

Watercolour study, December 2014

Detail, watercolour painting, 2015.

Watercolour study 8.4.16

Watercolour study 12.5.16 (2)


The interplay of abstraction and figuration interests me, especially through applying fluid media to paper. In particular, the freedom of expression that watercolour provides - whether on its own or used along with a range of drawing materials - seems worth spending a lot of time on. I also enjoy seeing how this kind of work allows significant freedom of interpretation for the viewer. The belief of the artist Roger Hilton (1911-75), that abstraction is only a step towards a new kind of figuration, is something I hope to research further through painting.

Other artists who influence me include Gerhard Richter (b.1932), particularly for his abstract watercolour techniques, aiming at pure abstraction but accepting that figurative elements may become apparent in the finished painting. Joseph Beuys (1921-86) is interesting on many levels, not least for his belief that everyone is an artist. He also asserted that first-hand experience of materials can allow us to discover the forces that travel through things. The ideas of the philosopher John Dewey (1859-1952) about 'art as experience' have also been influential, considering the work of art as not so much the artwork itself but the effect that an artwork can have with respect to human experience. And despite my earlier scepticism about Jacques Derrida (1930-2004), I have found myself indebted to his thinking; for example, querying our assumptions about the world and emphasising the need to keep our conceptual horizons open to the unforeseen.

Reflecting current times, I increasingly think about the sustainability of my artistic practice and the ecological implications of the various activities of the 'art world'. Without any readily available answers, it seems important to consider how we can continue to develop freedom of expression through the arts, while also helping nature to flourish. I hope a syncretic use of ideas drawn from the above can allow me to progress with this in my own art.


In June 2015 I completed the BA(Hons) Fine Art course at Moray School of Art, Elgin, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands.