Patricia Cain NEAC PS RGI ARWS PhD


Artist Statement

For Patricia, making something very complex often appears to become ‘nothing’.  She often seeks this absence though a process that involves intense scrutiny. Her work is on the cusp of both abstraction and figuration - a place where observation turns inwards. For her, energy is fundamental. The dominant energy resides in empty space: it is the absence or negative space that activates the artwork, yet also makes it unstable. Resonating with concerns in science, Patricia connects with the idea that the artist operates as a self-referencing system of processes, where thinking occurs through the body, and the exchange of process and energy leads to continual transformation.

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

2013 Finalist, Arte Laguna Prize Venice
2010 Winner, Threadneedle Prize 
2010 Winner, Aspect Prize
2013 RSA Residency Award, Barns-Graham Trust
2014 Rws Award, RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition
2011 Discerning Eye Scottish Regional Prize
2009 RSA Residency Award
2009 RSW Visual Arts Residency, Hospitalfield House

Past Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions

2015 'Inte/Exte', A-side B-side Gallery, London
2012 ‘Drawing (on) Riverside’ 11 Spitalfields Gallery, London
2011 ‘The Riveted Eye’ House for an Art Lover, Glasgow
2011 ‘Drawing (on) Riverside’ Kelvingrove Museum

Group shows

2017 ‘Between Representation and Abstraction: Barns-Graham, Cain, Gear, Johnstone’ (forthcoming Scottish touring exhibition)
2015 RSW Contemporary Watercolour Society Competition, Bankside Gallery
2015 Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead, Broth Art
2014 Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize


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