Moyna Flannigan’s new paintings and collages draw upon imagery from art history, mythology, and popular culture to explore modern society and, in particular, the representation of women in art. The figures she portrays are an amalgam of memories, experiences, and ideas; the identity or essence of her characters remaining just out of reach, ever suspended, existing in a world of ambiguity. The peculiar atmosphere unique to her work arises from an astute sense of irony — a humane humour delicately tinged by a darker sensibility.
Her most recent series of paintings began as collages made with an element of chance - the artist cutting up drawings and reusing abstract parts to create a new order from the original components. The transition from collage to paintings involved Flannigan making her own distemper paint which consists of ground pigment and warmed rabbit-skin glue, prompting an exploration into her materials and paint, itself, as matter.
Born in Scotland in 1963, Flannigan studied at Edinburgh College of Art before receiving her Masters at Yale University School of Art in 1987. She went on to lecture in painting at Glasgow School of Art for ten years, then becoming a Teaching Fellow at Edinburgh College of Art. Throughout her career, Flannigan has worked with galleries across Europe and the United States. Her earlier work includes a highly acclaimed collection of portrait miniatures, that were first exhibited at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2004. Recent exhibitions include presentations at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (2018) and GENERATION: 25 years of Contemporary Art in Scotland (2014).