ABOUT ART IN IRELAND
For a guide to oils/watercolours
see: Irish Painting.
For answers to popular queries,
see: Irish Art Questions.
Camille Souter (b.1929)
The contemporary Irish landscape, still-life and genre painter Camille Souter was born in Northampton, England in 1929. Her real name was Betty Pamela Holmes. Later, she married Gordon Souter who nicknamed her 'Camille' in accordance with the consumptive heroine of Alexandre Dumas' novel "La Dame aux Camélias".
Raised in Ireland, Souter studied nursing at Guy's Hospital in London. She took up painting in the 1950s, during her twenties, while recovering from illness. She travelled widely in Italy showing and selling her paintings in Rome and Milan. Returning to Ireland she showed her works in a number of Dublin restaurants and bars. Her pictures were chaotic and free-flowing, sharing characteristics of Jackson Pollock's action-painting technique.
In 1959, Camille Souter moved to Achill Island, off the County Mayo coast, and began using more viscous aluminium and enamel paints. In 1962-3, around the time she moved to Calary Bog, County Wicklow, she began to attract the attention of several serious art collectors like the late Sir Basil Goulding, who began to collect her paintings. Since then, Souter's reputation has soared and she has enjoyed numerous solo and group exhibitions including the Irish Exhibition of Living Art (1957-73); Independent Artists, Dublin (1960-79); 12 Irish Painters, New York (1963); Oireachtas (1970-78); The Delighted Eye, Ireland and London (1980); Art Inc. and Figurative Image, both in Dublin in 1991. She won the Landscape Award at the Oireachtas Exhibition (1973); the Gainey Award (with Patrick Collins) (1975); the Prix de Ville de Monaco (1977); first prize at the Claremorris National Art Exhibition (1978).
A retrospective for Camille Souter was staged at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in 1980, and another was held at the Royal Hibernian Academy's Gallagher Gallery in 2001. At present she is considered one of the foremost living exponents of visual art in Ireland. She is a member of Aosdána.
Most Expensive Painting by Camille Souter
The auction record for a work by Camille Souter was set in 2005, when her oil painting entitled House in Callary was sold at DeVeres, in Dublin, for €57,000.
More Information About Visual Arts in Ireland
For details of other painters, see:
Irish Artists: Paintings and Biographies.
of Irish Art