Gillian Ballance

  • Gillian Ballance

Gillian came to painting after a successful career in social work. After retirement in the 1990s, Gillian travelled to Mostar, Bosnia to help people traumatised by war. This was followed by returning to London to support asylum seekers affected by torture and most recently, up to the present day, working to support trafficked women.

Gillian describes painting as her ‘art therapy’ and her work clearly reflects the traumas she has witnessed.

Whether she’s working in oils, watercolour or drawing, her artwork always shows a struggle with the medium. She applies layers of thick paint until she finds her subject, often passing through numerous incarnations and consistently changing compositions. She often revisits work months after announcing that a work is finished.

Recent work includes three large monochrome oils on canvas depicting Michelangelo’s unfinished sculptures of prisoners; images of which Gillian has lived with since childhood, but only recently choosing to paint, in her own words; ‘the struggle of figures emerging from the stone’.