Portrait Of An Artist

Issue 80

Phoebe Gollan is a young, Newcastle based artist who has recently been combining acrylic paint and oil pastel to create vibrant interior and still life paintings that draw upon her everyday experience.

The flattened picture space, simplified forms and rich colour of Phoebe’s recent paintings reveal the influence of early European modernism, particularly Matisse and Bonnard. Other key influences include later 20th Century artists, like the Scottish painter John Bellany along with contemporaries, such as Joy Labinjo, whose large-scale paintings were shown at Baltic in 2019, and whose example as much as her work has proved a particular inspiration.

Labinjo gave a guest lecture at Northumbria University, where Phoebe graduated in 2019 with a first in Fine Art, and this gave Phoebe the confidence to return to painting after making extensive use of sound and animation in her degree show.

Like many other students and young artists, Phoebe has taken jobs in pubs and restaurants to support herself and pay the rent. Her most recent job was as a rather unlikely lab support worker at the Covid Lab, processing PCR tests. However, as it has for many others, the experience of Covid and lockdown has prompted a more general revaluation for Phoebe of what she wants to do, and she is now determined to purse a full-time career as an artist.

Examples of Phoebe’s recent paintings and illustration can be seen on Instagram @phoebegollan and at where both prints and original work can be purchased and Phoebe can be contacted about commissions.

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