Camille Souter

b. 1929, Northampton, UK

Contemporary artist Camille Souter was born in Northampton, England, in 1929. Raised in Ireland she studied nursing in London. In the mid-1950’s Souter spent some time in Italy in order to recuperate after a period of illness. It was here that she discovered a love for painting. Returning to Ireland in 1956, Souter began her career as an artist in earnest, coming to prominence in the international art scene in the 1960s. Her work is usually small in scale and full of colour. Although primarily associated with abstract expressionism most of her work retains a figurative element. Souter depicts everyday scenes with a tendency to paint in series. She captures events and objects such as flying, medical memories, the Gulf War, meat and the circus, her interest in the commonplace and what she encounters on her journey through remains a constant. Totally committed to painting, her work is full of colour and loosely painted with a direct gaze, suggestive of French Realism. Souter was a member of the group the Irish Exhibition on Living Art, a movement established in 1943 to add an international dimension to Irish art.

Camille Souter won the Landscape Award at the Oireachtas Exhibition in 1973, the Gainey Award with Patrick Collins in 1975, the Prix de Ville de Monaco 1977 and first prize at the Claremorris Exhibition in 1978. The Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin held a major retrospective of her work in 1980 and she has also exhibited with major Irish group shows such as the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, the RHA Annual, Independent Artists and the Oireachtas Exhibition. More recently, she produced two limited-edition giclée prints; one as part of the IMMA `Editions` series and another, The Late Night Show, from her circus series. Souter is an Honorary member of the RHA and a member of Aosdána. She was elected Saoi of Aosdána in a ceremony presided over by President of Ireland Mary McAleese in November of 2009, where she was presented with the symbol of the office of Saoi, the gold Torc.

Souter continues to live and work on Achill Island, also spending time in Italy.