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Iain Andrews

Painter, Art Psychotherapist and lecturer

 ‘It is not possible to be original except on a basis of tradition’        D.W.Winnicott


My paintings begin as a dialogue, both with a particular Folk Tale and also with an image from art history – often a painting by an Old Master that may then be used as a starting point from which to playfully but reverently deviate. Making paintings is the way I make sense of the narratives and stories that I encounter during my work as an Art Psychotherapist with teenagers, many of whom have tales of neglect and abuse. These stories have very little trouble attaching themselves to the narratives and imagery of Folk Tales and Faery Stories, since the themes of the two; loss and abandonment, the violence of parental figures, oral greed, transformation and renewal, naturally merge into each other, with the structure of the traditional story functioning as kind of frame or reference point. Within this framework, the starting image becomes a kind of armature, rather like an actor on stage upon which the narrative of the story is hung. I am interested in how stories are retold and re-imagined, and how the retelling alters and embellishes the original even as it seeks to render it vital and alive once again for a new audience.

Along with this comes a question of how modern developments may be balanced by a dialogue with established traditions and past narratives, and yet not become nostalgic. Whereas in the past, the artist or thinker had the shared symbolic order provided by religion within which to refer and ground their work, the artist today must find a way of surviving the bewildering plurality and subjectivity that has become the norm, if what they have to say is to maintain any force or credibility.

The art critic Peter Fuller talks about how, in the past the artist could ‘transform the physically perceived by the manifestation of allegoric devices like haloes and ‘human’ wings, whereas now this can only be realized through the transfiguration of formal means like drawing, colour and touch’ . The act of making becomes inseparable from the message that is being conveyed through the marks, one of the importance of a vital, living dialogue with the past. I hope to frustrate the process of recognition through treading a path that plays between the borders of figuration and abstraction, and thus slows down the viewer by creating a space for sensation to emerge before a narrative can be understood. I want my works to be sensuously addictive, synaesthetic and material, yet also to have a sense of contemplative silence akin to an icon.

Paint is poured and manipulated to create areas of thick and crusted surfaces and brushstrokes, that are allowed to wrinkle and pock mark as the various mediums used dry out. Once this process has reached a certain point, the image is again finely adjusted to create areas of shadow and recession, to a point where a form may begin to emerge, but hopefully not too much. The pause button is then pressed, to hopefully allow something to sit forever on the cusp of becoming – neither an abstract blob of raw sienna nor the fold of flesh in a stomach, but both, and neither. This ability to be in two worlds at once, the past and the present, the abstract and the figurative, the imagined and the real, is what interests me and sustains me as an artist.

 I currently work as an artist in residence and Art Psychotherapist at Trinity High School in Manchester.


Solo and two person exhibitions

2023 - 'Diorama'(with David Hancock) - The Parsonage, Manchester

2022 - Teraphim (with Carlos Zapata) - James Freeman Gallery, London

2020 - New Paintings - Gallery 339, Cao Chang di, Beijing.

2018 -  Iain Andrews - House of the Nobleman, London

2015 - Changeling - York College Gallery, York

2014 - Re:view - Iain Andrews, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

2013 - Il teatro dei leviatano - Man and Eve, London , 

        - The Language of Paint (with Richard Kenton Webb), Atkinson Gallery, Somerset

2012 - Mythopoeia, Warrington Museum and Art Gallery, Warrington

2011 - Manchester Contemporary, Man and Eve , Manchester

2009 - The Pilgrimage of Lost Children and Other Stories, Bankley Mill, Manchester,

  - Theoria, Gallery 286, London 

1999 - Passion, The Crossing, St Paul's, Walsall, West Midlands

Group exhibitions

2024 - 'Humana' - Gallery Gaburro, Milan, ‘Dreams and Nightmares’ - Boomer Gallery, London, ‘Assembly’ - Rye Creative Centre, Sussex

2023 - 'Resurrection' - James Freeman Gallery, London, 'Jackson's Painting Prize' - Oxo Gallery, London, 'X -10 years of Contemporary British Painting', Newcastle Contemporary Art, Newcastle, 'Rising Artists - Jackson's Painting Prizewinners' - Affordable Art Fair and Bankside Gallery, London, 'Paint Fiction' - International gallery of Contemporary Art, Anchorage, Alaska, 'AIR Open' - AIR Gallery, Altrincham, 'Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize' - Trinity Buoy Wharf, London, 'Paint' - Brownston Gallery, Devon.

2022 - 'Carnivals of Clouds - Janet Rady Fine Art, London, Manchester Open - HOME, Manchester, 'Sunny Art Prize' - Sunny Arts Centre, London, 'Paradoxes' - Quay Arts Centre, Isle of Wight, 'A Generous Space II ' - Walsall Art Gallery, Walsall, 'A Modest Show - Fayre Share Fayre' - Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, 'Vitalistic Fantasies' - Elysium Gallery, Swansea, 'Paper After All ' - Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy, Paper Gallery, Manchester and touring, 'Meet me by the river' - Purslane art, London, 'Paint Edgy' - The Ropewalk Gallery, Barton -upon- Humber, 'Swamp Legends' - Terrace Gallery, London

2021 - 'Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize' - Cooper Gallery, Dundee, 'Thing Worlds' - Art Spot, Kyoto, Japan, 'Emergence' - Rise art, London, 'Momento Mori' - AIR Gallery, Altrincham, 'ArtWorks Open' - Barbican Arts Group, London, 

2020 - 'Waving in the Distance' - Terrace Gallery, London, 'Vitalistic Fantasies' - Elysium Gallery, Swansea, 'Beep Painting Biennial' - Elysium Gallery, Swansea, 'Yes/No' - Contemporary British Painting virtual exhibition, 'New work' - Saul Hay Gallery, Manchester, 'Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2020' - Trinity Buoy Wharf, London, Drawing Projects, Trowbridge and Cooper Gallery, Dundee, 'Vitalistic Fantasies' - Cello factory, London, Plausible Objects / Difficult Things - CBP virtual exhibition curated by Dr. Frances Woodley

2019 -  'Angels' - James Freeman Gallery, London, 'Personal Structures', Paper Pavillion, Palazzo Mora, Venice Biennale, Venice, 'CBP' , Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, 'New Paintings', Saul Hay Gallery, Manchester, 'GMCC Art Prize' - Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, 'Made in Britain - British painting in the 21st century', National Gallery and Museum of Poland, Gdansk, 'Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize' -Drawing Projects, Wiltshire

2018  'Fresh paint', Messums Gallery, Wiltshire, 'Material Earth - Myth, material and Metamorphosis ', Messums Gallery, Wiltshire, 'Chaiya Art Award' - Oxo Gallery, London, 'New Light art prize exhbition', Huddersfield Art Gallery and touring to Bankside Gallery, London, ‘GMCC Art Prizewinners exhibition’, Stockport Art Gallery, Manchester, 'Tracing Paper'- Paper Gallery, Manchester, 'Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize' - London and touring throughout the U.K, 'TaoHuaTan International artists'- Hefei Museum of Modern Art, Anhui, China, 'New Paintings' St.Maryelbone Crypt, London

2017   ‘Testcard P’, St Marylebone Crypt, London, ‘Bankley Open’ , Bankley Gallery, Manchester, ‘Mardi gras Requiem’, Project Space Plus, University of Lincoln,  Contemporary British Painting’, Yantai Art Museum, Yantai and touring to Artali Gallery, Nanjing and Jiangsu Art Museum, Nanjing, ‘Strange Little Things’, Bankley Gallery, Manchester – ‘GMCC Art Prizewinners exhibition’, Chamber of Commerce, Manchester –‘Antennae’, Lubomirov Angus Hughes, London, 'New Light art prize exhibition', Bowes Museum, Durham

2016   ‘Correspond’, Artworks, Halifax and touring to London, Liverpool, Rye and Winchester, 'Sixty' - Lubomirov Angus- Hughes, London, 'Anthology' - Van der Plas Gallery, New York, New Work, Manchester Contemporary, Telling Tales, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London, Miniature World, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, 30x30x43,  St Marylebone Crypt, London

2015  - How the Light gets in, The Globe, Hay on Wye,   -    Bankley Open, Bankley Gallery, Manchester,   -   National Open Art Competition, Royal College of Art, London

2014 - (DETAIL) H Project Space, Bangkok (June) and Transition Gallery, London (September) Curator Andrew Bracey,   -  Open up North, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal,     -    Bankely Open, Bankley Gallery, Manchester

2013 - Beautiful Things, next door projects, Tate Liverpool, -  The Tip of the Iceberg, Contemporary Art Society, London

2012 - 60 Drawings, Bankley Gallery, Manchester , - A Private Affair, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston ,    - Collectible, Zeitgeist Arts Projects, London,     - Digital Romantics, Dean Clough Gallery, Halifax,      - International Beethoven Project, National Pastime Theatre, Chicago,      - Manchester Contemporary , (with man & eve), Manchester,   - Polemically Small, Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham,      - Pulse (with Man and Eve), New York, NY,  - Put your money where your eyes are, Fundraising Auction for Castlefield Gallery, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester,    - The Wreck of the Imagination, Sarah O'Kane Fine Art, Lewes

2011 - Art Works Open, Barbican Arts Group, London,  - Configured, Signal Gallery, London,  - Contemporary Approaches to Watercolour, Mall Galleries, London,  - Deptford X, Core Gallery, London,  - Desire, Portman Gallery, Soho, London,   - Jerwood Drawing Prize, Jerwood Space, London,     - National Open Art Competition, Pallant House, Chichester,     - Polemically Small (curated by Edward Lucie Smith), Garboushian Gallery, Los Angeles,    - The Open West, Gloucester Art Gallery, Gloucester,     - The Return - House of the Nobleman, Boswall House, Regents Park, London,     - We are all in this together, Bureau Gallery, Manchester

2010 - Marmite Painting Prize, Thameside Art gallery, Lanchester Gallery, Coventry, The Nunnery, London, Touring Exhibition,    - The Borrowed Loop, Man and Eve Gallery, London,    - The Summer Show, Sarah O'Kane Fine Art, East Sussex

2009 - New Paintings (with Genieve Figgis), Queen Street Studios, Belfast

2008 - Budapest Art Fair, Budapest, Hungary,  - Edge of Figuration, Tregoning Fine Art, Derby, - Horse Power, Metal, Edge Hill Station, Liverpool,   - Imaging the Bible, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth,    - New Blood Art Fair, Lighthouse, London,    - Night Thoughts, Royal West of England Academy, Bath,    - Top 100, MCPS/PRS Alliance Building, London

2007 - Annual Exhibition, The Mall Gallery, London,   - Battersea Contemporary Arts Fair, BAC, London,    - From Bacchus to Barbie, Signal Gallery, London,   - New Work, Tregoning Fine Art, Derby,   - Sefton open, Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport

2006 - Derby Open, Derby City Art Gallery, Derby 

2005 - Art of Imagination, Galerie Venere, Italy,  - Art of Imagination Touring European exhibition, Lofthouse Galerie / Silos Gallery, Germany / Spain

2004 - Challenge the Nail, Salon Des Arts, London

2003 - Art and Vision, Williamsburg Art Centre, New York,  - Art of the Imagination, Gallery 37, London and Kircudbright, Scotland,   - Religion, Art and War, Salon Des Arts, London, Yugoslavia and Israel

2002 - Art of the Imagination, Gallery 37, Cork Street, London,  - Eyepoppers, Gloucester City Art Gallery, Gloucester,   - Goldmark Gallery, Uppingham, Rutland

1998 - Images of landscape, Heifer Gallery, London


Private commissions

2005 - Portrait of M.A.Evans, retiring head of Trinity Church of England School, Trinity Church of England School, Manchester


Competitions, prizes and awards

2023 - Jackson's Painting Prize, Mind's Eye Winner

2020 - Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, shortlist,

2019 - GMCC Contemporary Arts Prize - runner up

2018  - Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, shortlist, Chaiya Art award - shortlist

2017 - GMCC Contemporary Arts Prize - runner up, New Light Art Prize, shortlist

2016 - GMCC Contemporary Arts Prize - runner up

           1st Prize - Anthology, Van der Plas Gallery, NY

2014 - Open up North - 1st Prize

2012 - The Northern Art Prize 2013, longlist, Leeds

2011 - Marmite Painting Prize - 1st Prize, Nunnery, Bow Arts, London,   

          Towry Prize - North of England, National Open Art Competition, Chichester,  

          Jerwood drawing prize, London

2010 - Jerwood Painting Fellowship, shortlist, Jerwood space, London

2009 - Abbey Scholarship in Painting, Shortlisted, British School of Rome, Rome,

          Saatchi's Best of British, shortlist, Saatchi Gallery, London 

2008 - Marmite Art Prize, Studio 1.1, London

2007 - Celeste Art Prize 2007 - Short List, London, 

           Sir Leslie Joesph Young Artist Award - Shortlist, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea 

2002 - LUKAS Drawing Prize, Gallery 37, Cork Street, London


Publications / Selected Press

2014 - Pick of the weeks Exhibitions - Guardian Guide

2012 - Mythopoeia - exhibition catalogue with essays by Graham Crowley and Edward Lucie Smith

2011 - front cover, a-n magazine, - Jerwood Drawing Prize 2011 Catalogue, - Marmite Painting Prize, exhibition catalogue,   One to watch, a kick up the arts website, Editors Pick, Top ten International shows, Saatchi Online magazine, One to watch, FAD,

2010 - review of 'The Borrowed Loop' a-n, October

2009 - School of Saatchi, BBC2,   The Vacuum, Issue 41

2006 - What the World Needs Now, BBC 1, 

2003 - Religion Art and War exhibition catalogue, Imperial College, London



The New Art Gallery, Walsall

The Progressive Collection, Ohio

Warrington Art Gallery

Yantai Art Museum, Yantai, China

Private collections in the U.K, Denmark, U.S.A, Hong Kong, Brazil 



2024 - Xenia Creative Residency, Basingstoke

2019 - Residency, Gallery 339, Beijing 

2016 - The Utility of colour - lecture given at Cambridge University

2015 - Artist's talk - in conversation with Richard Davey at Usher gallery, Lincoln

2013 - Artist's talk - in conversation with Richard Kenton Webb at Atkinson gallery, 

2013 - Neo Art Prize - selection panel

2012 - The Marmite Painting Prize - selection panel

2011 - The Open West - selection panel

2011 - Jacob's Island residency, London

2010 - Who cares if it's art or not, is it any good? - lecture given at Liverpool Cathedral,      -    The Good the True and The Beautiful - Lecture given at the University of Wales





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