Pen and Portraits: 20th Century Writers
2019 - 2021

Pens and Portraits: 20th Century Writers is a collaboration by artist Elaine Woo MacGregor and writer T.A. Stewart. Through visual art and written reflections, the exhibition looks at six key figures who wrote prose and poetry in Scotland. Pens and Portraits offers fresh insight into the literary lives of the featured authors and the settings they worked in.

Painter’s Statement

The artwork in this exhibition is inspired by my joint research with T. A. Stewart. Over the past 2 years, we have been sharing facts and insights into our chosen six 20th Century Writers. I was interested in finding out about the individual writers’ demeanour and habits, as well as their sense of place, and how this shaped their identity and the themes in their work. With the break in our project due to the pandemic, I reflected on what it means to be a creative during these times, our relationships with natural and urban environments and our sense of ‘self’. My paintings are not direct portraits of writers’ per se; they are my interpretations of narratives and the essence of their character. The ideologies of these Writers are intriguingly relevant to our present-day challenges.