Gill is a well respected artist who has won awards from Creative Scotland, Scottish Borders Council and The National Lottery Fund. After graduating with an honours degree in Sculpture from Cheltenham College of Art in 1989 she has continued to practice art and has exhibited widely. She now lives and works in Scotland.
She is the founder of Allanbank Arts
, an art centre in the Scottish Borders. Before that she was a part time lecturer at Worcester College of Art, Stroud College of Art and Borders College. She was also an artist in residence for Gloucestershire psychiatric services and delivered art groups to mental health patients for seven years.
Gill's work is predominantly contemporary figurative and comprises paintings, drawings and sculptures.
(selected) Awards and Commissions
Creative Scotland Visual Artists Award. 2010/11. Migraine Project.
Awards For All and Eccles and Leitholm Primary School. 2006/7
Commission to build a sculpture for the school grounds.
Art Shape and East Glos NHS Trust. 1996
Commissioned to build a temporary sculpture for Imperial Gardens Cheltenham for the duration of the Literature festival.
East Glos NHS Trust. 1995
Commissioned to produce twelve permanent artworks for a new mental health hospital.
Current and Recent Exhibitions and Galleries
Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts Open Exhibition at the Mitchell Library, Glasgow
White Fox Gallery, , Coldstream
Velvet Easel Gallery, A Winter's Edge, Portobellow
Number 4 Gallery, St Abbs
Arusha Gallery, Gill Walton, Peter Hallam and Chris Hall, August 2017
'A Butterfly Collection'
Axiom Centre for Contemporary Art
Member of the Scottish Artist's Union
Member of the Society of Scottish Artists
Member of Visual Arts Scotland
Leonardo da Vinci said that every artist paints himself. Her paintings are her inner self. As simple as it sounds…
She does not like to talk about her work because it would be like talking about herself. Many years ago, she was trained as a sculptor. When I visited her studio, I felt that those powerful lines behind those raw colours came from a sculptress. Time and space become part of her work. The space manifests itself as a plastic element generating shape. Tension between those plastic elements are always present in Walton’s work. Colours and texture conspire creating harmonic spaces with overlapping planes of horizontals and verticals which give the necessary dynamism to the composition. She masters her medium: oil on aluminium. She loves to work wet-on wet mixing colours on the same surface. She also uses sheets of copper. One of her portrayed models had red hair so she chose to leave bits of copper without paint. She adores the smell of oil and turpentine. “ nothing is as fleshy as layer upon layer of transparent oil paint, it is as close as you can get to real skin”, she said. She prefers natural pigments to those synthetic.
She is interested in the human body. In her work, figures are arranged on lines and flat colours areas. Space and geometry are contrasted by almost tactile flesh. Her palette goes from cold blues and greens and complementary colours to bright oranges and reds. We can feel a remote influence of Francis Bacon – who placed the human figure as the axis of his work -in her figures. They are ethereal and heavy at the same time. Distorted and languid, present and absent, looking to some far horizon beyond the picture frame. She must have been a psychologist in a former life because the analysis of her characters is very revealing. She said “a painting takes as long as it takes, it can’t be rushed, so many different layers and levels…they tell me how long they will take!”. Most of her paintings started as life drawings: Dennis, Rebekah, Scarlett, Kim…all her models, in a way, decide what they would like to wear or been identified with…gloves, red shoes, corsets, black tutus, etc. She then creates a sort of stage set for her figures in which they interact. She works in a way as a scenographer does fiddling with figures until they finally talk to her and she knows exactly the meaning and therefore exactly what she needs to do.
She admires Lucian Freud and Lita Cabellut, (a Spanish painter living in the Netherlands) work.
She finds Lita’s monumental portraits particularly inspiring. But as every artist she is a blender. She combines her own experience and perceptions with other sources of inspiration.
Architecture is not a secret for her. She dominates perspective but decided to play with it instead of representing space as we perceive it. Her spaces are filled with zoomorphic figures which generate their own space. Human figures are shown almost in desolation, isolation, they feel vulnerable and strong at the same time. She likes to paint portraits. I believe she is a great “connoisseur” of the human souls. She can read between lines and she can see beyond your eyes. She said: “You look at a face and you can read things into that face, or that posture or that attitude…and I know how is to feel in that way somehow”
She paints to discover her inner world and at the same time, unknowingly she trespasses your soul. Could we enrol her as a neo-figurative realistic painter? She has the passion of an Expressionist and the colours of a Fauve as well. She studies constantly great artist’s techniques, including old masters such as Caravaggio. She has a very soft voice that is a real contrast when you look at her powerful art. We have to wait and see, but one thing I can tell: Her paintings are a dialog with the spectator and she is leaving a mark on our local art history.
Professor Maria Chester