who is figgis

Laurence Figgis is an artist and writer based in Glasgow and a lecturer in Fine Art Painting and Printmaking at The Glasgow School of Art. He has previously exhibited work in Glasgow, London, Rome, Graz and Perth, Australia. His recent exhibitions include ‘(After) After)’ at the Blenheim Walk Gallery, Leeds College of Art (2017), ‘Human Shaped’ at Sculpture & Design, Glasgow (for Glasgow International 2016), ‘Oh My Have’ at 1 Royal Terrace, Glasgow and ‘ANYKENT’ at the Briggait, Glasgow (both 2015). An excerpt from his developing work of fiction ‘Bad Retail’ was recently published in the Journal for Writing in Creative Practice (Winter 2017). His live-performance work ‘Even or Perhaps,’ which took place at DCA, Dundee, in August 2014, was programmed as part of Generation, a nationwide celebration of contemporary art in Scotland. In addition to (and as an extension of) his own creative practice, Figgis has produced numerous specially-commissioned texts for individual artists in gallery exhibitions and catalogues including for Lottë Gertz, Lorna Macintyre, Zoe Williams, and Cathy Wilkes. In 2008 he collaborated with the artist Craig Mulholland on a libretto for Mulholland’s animated film Peer to Peer, an artist’s film and video production supported by the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen and showcased at the Glasgow International Film Festival 2008.

Incorporating drawing, painting, collage, as well fictional and poetic writing, Figgis’s work is informed by research into the development of narrative painting and illustration during and after mondernism (e.g. after c.1907). His underlying research is particularly concerned with how narrative painters/ illustrators in the 20th century made use of formal strategies, techniques and devices that have often been aligned with abstract traditions in critically-designated avant-garde, modernist or surrealist practice: including flatness of the picture-plane, non-realist transformation of form and space, collage, montage and appropriation. His research also considers how technological and mass-produced media such animation and narrative cinema have been influenced by (and have in turn influenced) story-telling in painting. Building on this research the artist explores analogous relationships of literary fiction and painting through bodies of work that tell coherent narratives. The particular literary genres to which he is drawn are those associated with a ‘neo-romantic’ sensibility in art and literature: such as fairy-tales, gothic romance and speculative fiction. As such his artistic practice has further been informed by a parallel investigation of nineteenth-century literary romanticism and (post)modernist picture-making (and the formal echoes and interconnections between these two modes of cultural expression and thought).

Friends and Representation

Laurence Figgis is best friends with: Snow White, Huckleberry Finn, the Bachelor Machines, Hareton Earnshaw, Alan Turing, the Jets AND the Sharks, the “Little Picture Plane”, Marie Antoinette de France, La Femme Engorgée, “She Who is Eternally Returning”, Harry Lime’s “cuckoo clock,” and “a certain slant of light, winter afternoons”.

He is represented by Collaterlie Sisters.


Thanks to Patricia DeVries of deFreeze for her consultation and advice and to Alan Dimmick for photographing many of the artworks on this site.