2017 129th Annual Exhibition Guest Sculptor



Lys Hansen

The Glorious and the Grotesque
Paint on Pear Tree Wood

Lys Hansen

Lys Hansen DA was born in Falkirk and attended Edinburgh College of Art, 1955‐60, under the tutelage of Sir William Gillies and Sir Robin Philipson, both of whom had significant influence on the Scottish Art Scene over several decades. She did postgraduate studies in Drawing and Painting and in 1961 she studied Fine Art at the University of Edinburgh, graduating with Honours, under David Talbot Rice and Giles Robertson. She is based in Stirlingshire and continues to work from her studio in Braco. Lys is one of Scotland's most important figurative expressionist painters. For her, art is a matter of life and death. It is not a matter of d e c o r a t i o n . Her work explores the human condition; “it has to examine some kind of truth and really mean something as the most extraordinary thing is ourselves and our lives and how we feel about those around us”. She prefers to paint on a large scale as this opens up the work to the viewer allowing us to look at it, get into it and feel it. Since 1985 she has worked regularly in Berlin; the city, its people, their lives and struggles have been a continuing source of inspiration.

For the PAI Exhibition, Lys presents a series of painted wooden sculptures. ‘The Glorious and the Grotesque’ is a piece of pear wood that sat in her garden for 20 years, the pear tree being cut down the same year that her parents died. On one side we see the lovers and on another, the figure of a soldier whose surface is scored by the marks of the saw blade. The wood is not carved or cut into by the artist but rather the imagery found within the wood. Each shape, surface or texture suggests a narrative; the grooves made by the saw represent the textures of life itself. The works are painted using pure pigment bound with clear gesso giving a matt effect which embeds within the grain of the wood rather than sitting on the surface. Working with found wood allows for the introduction of play and humour into her work, the tradition of painting on wood being part of Her Nordic culture. Her parentage is part‐Danish.

Lys Hansen is an inspirational teacher, she is a former President of the Society of Scottish Ar sts, has been Artist in Residence at École de Peinture, France, and her paintings have been shown in exhibitions in Denmark, Ireland and Northern France. Numerous awards include Prix de Rome, British School of Painting, Rome; Andrew Grant Bequest Scholarships; Anne Redpath Award for Painting; Scottish Arts Council, Major Award; Smith Biennial, Prize Winner; Creative Scotland Award.