Meet the Scottish artist transforming ‘the ordinary’ into extraordinary paintings


“It’s about celebrating life and sometimes it isn’t always, especially in Scotland, that it will be sunny and beautiful.”

Scottish artist Katie Pope explains the inspiration behind her work. She has spent years transforming her everyday experiences into extraordinary paintings.

Katie has painted a number of colorful canvases over the years in places across Scotland that she says “uplift the everyday”.

Katie Pape [Photograph by Allan Whyte]

The artist said that much of her work is influenced by her childhood and that it reflects places and things that have a “sense of importance” to her.

Katie has said that many “ordinary scenes” in our lives can be “deep,” something she hopes to express through her art.

READ MORE: The Orcadian who traded vet status to change the face of Scottish dance

The National: “A memory of Priesthill” [Image: Katie Pope]

She said: “I guess all of my art is sort of about how I react / feel about my surroundings and my past.

“To be honest, a lot of it is about memory and also how harmless views can evoke such depths of feelings within you.

“It’s about celebrating life and sometimes it’s not always, especially in Scotland, that it will be sunny and beautiful in the traditional sense, I guess it’s like trying to find that beauty in our everyday experience . ”

Katie attended an art school in Edinburgh and held a number of exhibitions across the UK, most notably in London and Glasgow.

She grew up in Priesthill in Glasgow’s Southside before moving to Motherwell shortly before starting high school.

After sharing one of her paintings on social media, Katie said she was surprised to hear from people not only from all over Scotland but around the world, who said her work had “captured their imaginations. “.

The National: the top of Gardner Street [Image by Katie Pope] The top of Gardner Street [Image by Katie Pope]

READ MORE: Scottish culture and events sector to receive £ 65million in funding

She explained, “It’s a fusion of my imagination so I guess what surprised me was that people reached out to me and were like oh that seems to really capture my memories of growing up in these guys. of domains.

“The painting itself sort of comes from my head, it’s not geographically precise but it’s almost like a memory painting in terms of how I remember the texture of these buildings, I remember the silhouette from the water tower, I remember the sky, certain colors.

“Sometimes it seems like some (paintings) just seem to capture people’s imaginations.”

She added: “When I tell people the areas I paint I guess Glasgow sometimes has that, oh it’s kinda rough it’s kinda dreich what you paint there but actually, like me, the feeling of belonging is so important.

“I love Glasgow and hope to translate that affection through the paintings and sometimes it’s not a postcard type painting they are quite raw and rough, I think there is beauty in there . ”

Over the years, Katie has painted places ranging from her local supermarket to the iconic Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow’s East End.

The National: Dreich Night at Barras [Image by Katie Pope] Dreich night at Barras [Image by Katie Pope]

Katie explained that one of her main sources of inspiration is to portray lives lived and that “all of our lives are a valid source for doing work.”

She said: “I guess it’s about trying to focus on subjects that maybe aren’t painted, that maybe aren’t depicted that often.

“I think painting is not rigidly adhering to the rules. I’m pretty expressive I guess, it’s just in the way of mixing the media, of working spontaneously.

“I think it’s probably just about depicting things or places that people maybe look like, why are you painting this, but actually the people who get it, they really like it.”

The National: Glasgow's necropolis in winter [Image by Katie Pope]Glasgow Necropolis in winter [Image by Katie Pope]

READ MORE: Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art sees new additions

She added: “When people understand they’re surprised in a way because I guess it’s a little more unusual to like some of the subjects I paint.

“I guess it’s just trying to express a sense of belonging but also just the emotions which are harmless things that sometimes evoke and I guess trying to make a beautiful painting out of something so ordinary.”

Katie continues to produce new artwork and has said she hopes to reschedule an exhibition, which was originally scheduled to take place last year at her studio in Trongate but was canceled due to Covid-19.


Comments are closed.