Born in North Carolina, Kate Downie studied at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen before travel and residencies took her to the United States, England, Amsterdam and Paris.

Downie is one of the most subtle and persuasive colourists of her generation and she will only add to her palette from real experience. This gives her work a truth and authority, a right to transport us to the unfamiliar or provide an urgent reminder of where we have also been. She is known rightly as a supreme draughtswoman. Her recent studies in China, visited in 2011 and 2013, have added to her repertoire, and the purchase of hand-made Chinese paper has required an approach informed by traditional oriental painting. The paper is remarkably robust: it can be crumpled and reworked and then folded into an A4 packet to be returned to the workshop in Zheng Zhou who will finally stretch the paintings and package them for return to Edinburgh for framing.

Kate’s constant search for new challenges and inspirations has seen her set up studios in such diverse places as a brewery, an oil rig, and an abandoned Hydroponicum. Her work is held in many public collections including Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art; Kelvingrove, Art Gallery: Reitveld Kunst Academie, Amsterdam; the BBC and Edinburgh Council.

  • New Day Crossing
    Kate Downie

    New Day Crossing

    oil on canvas
    H:100cm W:100cm
  • Lofoten Island VIII (Muscle)
    Kate Downie

    Lofoten Island VIII (Muscle)

    chinese ink and watercolour on xuan paper on silk
    H:36cm W:46cm
  • Route 66 (Arterial System)
    Kate Downie

    Route 66 (Arterial System)

    oil and mixed media on birch panel
    H:48cm W:64cm