Irish Artist Directory

Camille Souter (Irish Artist Directory)

Full Name: Camille Souter

Lived: 1929 -

Categories: Abstract, Landscapes, Still Life

Artist Biography

Born Betty Pamela Holmes in Northhampton in 1929, Camille Souter came to Ireland when she was just one year old, and later excelled at art at school. During her studies as a trainee nurse in Guys Hospital, London she contracted tuberculosis. It was this illness which led to her being called Camille. Whilst recuperating she began to paint again and afterwards decided to give up nursing and devote herself to painting. In 1951 she married Gordon Souter.

Largely self-taught, her earlier work shows the influence of Abstract Expressionism, particularly the strong, emotive calligraphic styles of Klee and Pollock. However, her titles were nearly always descriptive and indicate an intended link with some aspect of the visual world. In 1956 she had her first solo shows in Dublin restaurants and London galleries. She won an Italian Government Scholarship in 1958 and worked for a year in Italy. From 1959-60 she painted in Achill, where, partly through lack of money she began to use unusual types of paint such as aluminium bicycle paint.There, her painting moved away from the excitement and experiments of Abstract Expressionism and resolved into a quieter quasi-Impressionist mode of landscape painting. Her brushwork is now used to convey the dramatic activity of plant growth and moving skies.

In 1961 she married the sculptor, Frank Morris, in London.They returned to Ireland and settled on a farm in Calary Bog, Co.Wicklow, where she raised a family of five and in the following years painted views of her garden and the surrounding countryside. In the same year she represented Ireland at the Paris Biennale. Souter’s strange poignant series of slaughter house and meat paintings were initiated after her husband’s death in 1971. A year later she also painted the subjects of factories, docks and canals. Following on from her abattoir pictures, she exhibited a series of fish canvases, which depict the slimy coldness of dead fish. In these paintings, however, she achieves complete cohesion, of shape, colour and design of pollock, cod and other varieties of fish.

In 1977 she won the Grand Prix Interantional de l’Art Contemporain de Monte Carlo. Since the early 1980s she has worked in the Shannon Industrial Estate, using airports and flying as a theme and has taken flying lessons.The slanted view of ploughed fields and hedges seen from an aircraft has led to her adopting a more angular approach. She now lives and works in Dublin, but spends much of her time on Achill Island. She has exhibited widely and has been included in many prestigious exhibitions abroad.Her works can be found in the collections of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Hugh Lane Gallery, Ulster Museum and Crawford Gallery.

Camille Souter's work was included in 'Irish Women Artists: 1870-1970' exhibition (2014). Please click here to view the catalogue. 

Camille Souter Art Previously On Sale at Adam’s Auctioneers

Camille Souter HRHA (b.1929) Calary When We Got Back (1964) Oil on board, 79 x 57cm (31 x 22½'')...

Hammer Price €27,000.00

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Camille Souter RHA (b.1929) Green and Red Caravan on the Dargle Oil on paper, 57.2 x 74.9cm (22½...

Hammer Price €26,000.00

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Camille Souter, RHA (b.1929) Pieces of Dead Basking Shark, Achill Oil on card, 29 x 27cm, (11.25 ...

Hammer Price €24,000.00

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Camille Souter, HRHA, (b. 1929) Mid-Winter Oil on board, 58 x 82cm, (23 x 32.25'') Signed, inscri...

Hammer Price €23,000.00

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Camille Souter RHA (b.1929) Composition Gouache, 24 x 34.5cm, (9.5 13.5'') Signed and dated 58 P...

Hammer Price €20,000.00

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