I a n G r a n t
I work with the traditional watercolour approaches of a white paper ground, layering of colour and an avoidance of using white pigment. I work, though, with an airbrush and water-based acrylics. This allows colours to overlay themselves without dissolving the colour underneath and, I hope, to retain the delicacy of watercolour whilst extending its qualities into related but less traditional mediums and processes.
My choice and treatment of imagery combines this working process with my ongoing interest in imaging landscape elements of silence, atmosphere and distance. I construct images from my experience as a visitor, an observer of these elements as I find them in various sites. My work is made in the studio from a combination of memory and notation of my experience.
I have recently been working with single figure images, equally transient and evoked from personal experience in media and broader environments. They, in many ways, link to the seventeenth century Dutch tradition of ‘trone’ paintings where the subject is familiar but not immediately recognisable.
Ian Grant trained at the National Art School and Alexander Mackie College, completing a Diploma in Art Education in 1971. In 1986, he obtained a Master of Art (Visual Arts) at Sydney C.A.E. He commenced tertiary teaching in Art Education at Alexander Mackie College in 1976 and was a lecturer in Art Education and Painting at Sydney C.A.E. before being appointed Head, Painting Studies, in 1988, continuing in that position at the University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts from 1989 to 2006. In this role, he was co-founder and Presiding Member of the Imaging the Land International Research Institute (ILIRI).
Since 1972, he has held 21 solo exhibitions in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, most recently in 2015 with Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney. He has completed major group exhibitions in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth and has been part of themed group and survey exhibitions in regional galleries, university galleries and corporate venues throughout Australia, Asia and Europe.
Grant was awarded the Blake Prize in 1987, the Fleurieu Prize in 2004 and has been a frequent finalist in the Wynne Prize since 1975.
His work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Artbank; the Australian Defence Force Academy; New South Wales Parliament House, numerous regional galleries, corporations and universities, as well as in private collections in Australia, America and Europe.
Ian Grant was elected a member of the Australian Watercolour Institute in 2006.