Camille Souter

Camille Souter was born in Northhampton, England, in 1929. She was  raised in Ireland and studied nursing at Guy's Hospital, London before  taking up painting while on a trip to Italy during her recovery from an illness in the mid-1950s. Returning to Ireland in 1956, Souter began her  career as an artist in earnest. She lives and works on Achill Insland. 


Her work is characterised by both an interest in ordinary, unexceptional  things and a tendency to paint in series. These have seen flying, medical  memories, the Gulf War, meat and the circus appear as recurring themes.  From early paintings, largely described by sources other than the artist as  abstract, to more representational figurative work, Souter's interest in the everyday, the things she encounters on her journey through life is a  constant. Uncompromisingly committed to painting, her work is  reminiscent of the rich colouration, loosely painterly technique and  straightforward gaze of French Realism. 


Camille Souter won the Landscape Award at the Oireachtas Exhibition in  1973, the Gainey Award with Patrick Collins in 1975, the Prix de Ville de  Monaco 1977 and first prize at the Claremorris Exhibition in 1978. The  Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin held a major retrospective of her work in  1980 and she has also exhibited with major Irish group shows such as the  Irish Exhibition of Living Art, the RHA Annual, Independent Artists and the  Oireachtas Exhibition. More recently, she produced two limited-edition  giclée prints; one as part of the IMMA 'Editions' series and another, The  Late Night Show, from her circus series. Souter is an Honorary member of  the RHA and a member of Aosdána. She was elected Saoi of Aosdána in  2009, when she was presented with the symbol of the office of Saoi, the  gold Torc.