Patricia Cain NEAC PS RGI ARWS PhD


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Artist Statement

I’m a visual artist and scholar in Dumfries and Galloway and have a practice that is very much based in drawing and is concerned how we grow and develop as people through making things.

Since completing a PhD at Glasgow School of Art, I’ve been particularly interested in in accessing hidden aspects of thinking - such as creativity, experiential learning, spiritual growth. I make the creative experience visible as the artwork, through mapping, digital modelling, narrating and curating studio work - shifting importance away from ‘artefact’ to ‘development of artist’. 

The large multi-media exhibitions I create - such as Drawing (on) Riverside (Kelvingrove Art Gallery 2011) and Seeing Beyond the Immediate (a touring show for Scottish Public Galleries 2017/8) – are experiential installations, where artwork is both material (paintings, drawings, sculpture, digital animation, installations), and the narrative and interpretation of my experience. Artworks from these won the Aspect and Threadneedle Prizes and are exhibited nationally and internationally.  

My current project Making Autistic Thinking Visible (funded by Creative Scotland) explores how autistic thinking and the development of autistic identity (self) is made visible through artwork. I’m also interest in evolving creative research methodologies that reveal neuro-diverse thinking styles.

Biographical Details

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne and brought up in the Lake District
Lives in Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
Undergraduate Degrees in Law & Fine Art
PhD from Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow University

Other Society Memberships


Scholarships, Awards & Prizes

2019 Creative Scotland Open Project Award for Making Autistic Thinking Visible project
2019 Finalist, International Drawing Annual (INDA) 
2017 South of Scotland Visual Artists and Craft-makers Award 
2015 Oppenheim John-Downes Award / South of Scotland VACMA Award 
2014 Conte á Paris Award / Pastel Society Exhibition Royal Watercolour Society Award 
2014 RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition 
2013 Finalist, Arte Laguna Prize Venice 
2013 RSA Residency Award - Barns-Graham Trust 
2012 James B S Curr Memorial Award, Paisley Arts Institute 124th Annual Exhibition 
2012 Arts and Business Scotland Award - Shortlisted 
2012 Pastel Society Prize 
2011 Discerning Eye Scottish Regional Prize 
2010 Winner Threadneedle Prize 
2010 Winner Aspect Prize 
2010 Jan Bruce Award - Glasgow Society of Women Artists 
2010 The Bet Low Trust Award 
2010 Daler-Rowney Award, The Pastel Society 
2010 Finalist, International Drawing Annual (INDA) 
2009 Royal Scottish Academy Award 
2009 RSW Visual Arts Residency 
2008 Glasgow Art Club Fellowship Prize 
2008 Royal Glasgow Institute House for an Art Lover Prize, Royal Glasgow Institute 
2007 Royal Scottish Academy John Kinross Prize 
2006 Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust Award / Colonel McLean Trust Scheme / Logan and Johnston School Scheme Award / Jan Bruce Award - Glasgow Society of Women Artists

Past Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions

2018 Internal Work &Gallery, Edinburgh
2017/18 Seeing Beyond the Immediate An Exhibition Touring Scottish Public Galleries -Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries: Scott Gallery Hawick; Lillie Gallery Glasgow
2015 Inte/Exte A-side B-side Gallery, London
2012 11 Spitalfields Gallery London
2011 Drawing (on) Riverside Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow
2010 Tri Juncta in Uno The Meffan Gallery, Forfar
2009 Recent work from Florence and Glasgow House for an Art Lover, Glasgow
2008 Drawing Construction Lillie Gallery, Glasgow
2006 Clyde Redevelopment Glasgow Royal Institute Kelly Gallery, Glasgow
2004 Surfaces Geologia Glasgow School of Art and the RIAS Gallery, Edinburgh

Selected group shows

Arte Laguna, Venice, Royal Scottish Academy, Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Riverside Museum, Mall Galleries London, Edinburgh, Rebecca Hossock Gallery London, Broth Art London, London Art Fair, Kilmorack Gallery, Gallery Heinzel, John Green Fine Art Glasgow, The &Gallery, Edinburgh, McLean Museum and Art Gallery Ayr, Paisley Art Institute, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow Art Club, Air Gallery, London

Visual research - Conferences/lectures

2019 Keynote presentation/Installation Body of Knowledge 2nd International Conference on Art and Cognition, Deakin University, Melbourne
2017 Seeing Beyond the Immediate Symposium, Gracefield Art Centre – Organiser/Speaker
2015 Imagination and the Law Oxford University – Invited Conference speaker
2012 The Artist’s Studio : Masterclass House for an Art Lover, Glasgow
2012 Construction: Making as Thinking Symposium, Mall Galleries, London – Organiser/Speaker
2012 Drawing (on) Riverside 11 Spitalfields, London – Presentation
2011 Location Drawing Masterclass, Hospitalfield Arbroath
2010 Tri Juncta In Uno Lecture, Paisley Art Institute
2010 Drawing as Thinking for Architects Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Aberdeen
2011 Drawing as Thinking Royal Glasgow Institute Lecture
2010 The Big Draw Event Lecture Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow
2009 Enactive Copying: A First-Person methodology for investigating thinking processes Conference paper - Association of Social Anthropologists Conference, Bristol University
2009 Drawing as we think: learning as we make Conference Paper, Creative Practice Conference, York St John University
2008 Drawing as Thinking Glasgow School of Art – Lecture
2007 Lights of Academy Conference Paper, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing
2006 International Drawing Research Institute Symposium Conference Paper, Glasgow School of Art
2005 Drawing Research presentation, University of Leeds and Kingston School of Art


Drawing on Riverside’ (2011) Patricia Cain, Glasgow ISBN 9780956843401
Drawing: The Enactive Evolution of the Practitioner’ (2010) ISBN 9781841503257 
Making thinking visible: the method of copying’ (2010) Etnofoor Special Edition on Imitation, 22:1
Drawing as coming to know: How is it that I know I make sense of what I do?’ PhD Thesis, Glasgow School of Art/Glasgow University