Maggie Ayres



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"but they will look at you" - beeswax, damar resin, oils - 30" x 30"

"orchard" - beeswax, damar resin, oils - 36" x 72"

"nestling breath" - mixed media assemblage

"sighting stable ground" - beeswax, damar resin, oils - 24" x 36"

"where she thought the light was hidden" - beeswax, damar resin, oils - 36" x 60"

"white noise" - beeswax, damar resin, oils - 30" x 30"


My main practice is focused on abstract painting with a medium made from melting beeswax with tree resin (encaustics), and oil paints. I build up numerous translucent layers on wooden panels, producing visual depths as incorporated mark and colour are added gradually to successive applications of the molten medium.

Mark-making continually directs my practice, as expressions of personal responses to both spoken and written words, thoughts, memories and emotions.

Capturing thoughts or emotions as abstracted marks is like trying to scratch my bones.
Expressing an abstract, impossibly unseen concept like the displacement of air beneath a bird’s wings is to try and sate an elusive craving.
This is what it feels like when I look, sketch, imagine, research, write and record sound, trying all the time to resolve this enigma visually and audibly.
How does it taste, smell, feel, look, sound?

Currently I am progressing from the examination of how mental health issues have dominated and shaped me, (culminating in the exhibition “orchard” at Gracefield in September 2018) to an exploration of different notions of transformation, where flying is a metaphor for letting go of social and self imposed constraints that tether us.

At this early stage of making a new body of work, I am exploring new working practices, extending new drawing and painting processes. Also, motivated by making an audio loop which accompanied my solo exhibition, I am experimenting with audio techniques creating sound collages layering live field recordings and the spoken word.


Born in Dumfries in 1957, I have spent my life exploring various disciplines including working with constructed and stitched textiles, mixed media and painting.

Returning to Dumfries and Galloway in 2005, I began to seriously pursue my lifelong desire to become a full time artist, moving into my current studio at WASPS, Kirkcudbright in 2010.


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