'Connection series 2003/4', John Beattie

Abstract painting with pale lines on a pale surface

Oil, gesso and rabbit size on canvas, 175 x 239.5 cm

As a painter, I continually observe myself and attempt to develop through an awareness of how I work. Within this process there are diverse elements, such as conceptual, performative and philosophical. I use specific strategies at stages of my working process to communicate, or not communicate, my thinking and language to the viewer. I use the language of sound, text and video to visualise my work.

In this work I attempt, through recurring symbolical motifs and mark-making, such as the circle, the initial ‘E’ and dates such as ‘82’, to draw upon memories of specific events and experiences. Through a balance of gestural mark-making and subtle tension I aim to communicate some sense of personal pain.


John Beattie was born in County Donegal, Ireland in 1980. He studied at North West Institute of Further & Higher Education Derry 1997-99, National College of Art & Design Dublin 1999-2003 and the University of Ulster, Belfast (current). He has been included in numerous group shows including, most recently, Marshal Fields Thomas Wesley Chicago 2003, Panoply Catalyst Belfast 2004, and Emerging Artists Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin 2004.