Alison Watt was born in Greenock in 1965 and studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1983 to 1988. She gained early recognition as a painter, winning the National Portrait Gallery’s annual award as a student, then a commission to paint the Queen Mother’s portrait in 1989. Inspired by the nineteenth century painter Ingres, Watt’s portraits often focus upon the drapery which is traditionally used as a backdrop for the sitter. In her recent large-scale works, the human figure is entirely absent, allowing the texture and folds of the fabric to take centre stage.
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