Fionn Wilson

Statement and bio

Fionn Wilson (2018)

Artist Statement

My practice is focused primarily on transforming paint into something that can carry an emotional resonance. Sensuality is very important to me, too. I work very quickly, mostly from photographic sources (ideally photos I've taken myself) whilst never attempting to recreate the image. Most of my work is portraiture, but I also paint landscapes and still life.

Transcendence is important to my practice. I like to explore physical beauty (which I see as a kind of 'purity' or virtue) along with sexuality and glamour. I especially like to paint women and I view the female body as somehow supernatural. The women I paint are often sphinx-like or masked — their beauty a riddle. I’m also interested in how people organise different frameworks of belief, be this political, spiritual, or philosophical. I find people of conviction compelling to paint (whilst not necessarily being in agreement with their ideas). Self portraiture is an important element of my work and I constantly reevaluate where I am with my creative process through painting myself.


Fionn Wilson (b. South Shields, 1972) is a London-based figurative painter.

She has recently exhibited at the annual open exhibition of the Royal Society of British Artists, the Royal Scottish Academy open exhibition and the Enniskillen Visual Arts Open. Three of her paintings were selected for the National Open Art finalists’ exhibition (2016). Her portraits form part of the public collections of the Marx Memorial Library; the Priseman Seabrook collection of 21st Century British Painting (the only art collection in the UK dedicated to painting produced in Britain since the year 2000); Yantai Art Museum, China; the Museum of National History of Denmark at Frederiksborg Castle; the National Coal Mining Museum and the UCLH art collection. Her work was recently included in a four-museum tour of China as part of the exhibition Contemporary Masters from Britain (80 works from the Priseman Seabrook collection) and Made in Britain: 82 painters of the 21st Century at the National Museum, Gdansk. Her paintings were selected for the ING Discerning Eye (2017) and Contemporary British Painting's winter group show (2017). She has exhibited widely throughout the UK and was a judge’s favourite in the International Women’s Erotic Art competition, 2013.

From 2012–2013 she set up and ran the not-for-profit SPACE art gallery in Southgate, London, in a disused bank where she curated and hung seven exhibitions of work from local and international artists. She is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and holds directory membership at Axisweb. She has recently curated an ACE-supported touring group exhibition paying tribute to sixties icon Christine Keeler (for which she was namd 'Woman of the Year' by British Women Artists) and has just completed a series of portraits of political activist, historian and writer Tariq Ali.



To enquire about purchases, exhibitions or commissions, please contact me by e-mail

At the Royal Society of British Artists open exhibition (2016) with 'Mishka'