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Gillian Ayres '88

Geoffrey Robinson






Gillian Ayres has lived in North Cornwall since the mid-80s. This is a film by Geoffrey Robinson shot originally on Super8 in 1988 and edited recently for the internet.

Gillian Ayres was born in Barnes in south-west London. She studied at the Camberwell School of Art where figurative art was promoted, which she hated. She left in 1950 and began to paint abstracts, with her first solo exhibition coming in the mid-1950s. Ayres held a number of teaching posts through the 1960s and 1970s, becoming friends with painters such as Howard Hodgkin, Robyn Denny and Roger Hilton. In 1981 she moved to north Wales, and later to Cornwall.

Ayres was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1989. She was made an OBE in 1986, and in 1991 became a Royal Academician. She later temporarily resigned from the Academy, in part because of the controversial Sensation exhibition hosted by the Academy in 1997, show-casing the Young British Artists. Her work can be seen on display at the Alan Cristea Gallery in London.