Eleanor Adair was born and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. She left school at 16 and travelled to places including Alaska, France and Spain where she lived and worked. She has exhibited throughout the UK, including Liverpool, Glasgow, and London and at the Society of Scottish Artists in Edinburgh. She has had no formal art training.
I’m intrigued by the scope of the human mind, our capacity for thought, language and humanity next to our potential for brutality, and in many ways it’s this fascination which pushes me to paint. Likewise, I’ve always been interested in the role self-consciousness plays in altering our identity, so my art becomes a means of exploring how we construct and define ourselves through others. I’m heavily drawn towards figurative art and find the human form the best place to explore those extremities that make the body talk. The bodies that materialise in my own art become an alternative account of the routine human form: bodies for eyes that like to wander.
Recently I’ve drawn on prehistoric archaeology for inspiration. I hope these observations offer vision into much of my portraiture, so that each face crosses boundaries of time and culture and brings something of our cultural past to the foreground. What’s been really fascinating is how exciting contemporary art has become to me the more I find out about prehistoric art. Everything I do feels connected to it now
Art has always been a volatile process for me, a case of extremities in love and hate. It gives me no choice to be anything but an artist. So much so, that when I’m not painting I feel like I’m winning. Everything I paint then is built on this volatility between two states.