Morag Caister, a British artist based in London, graduated in 2019 from the University of Brighton. Her work is featured in prestigious collections including the National Portrait Gallery and Soho House. In 2022, Caister won Sky Art’s Portrait Artist of the Year TV series resulting in a commission to paint British icon Sir Lenny Henry, and has since emerged as a candidate for Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe: Art & Culture, as well as one of thirty creatives named in the Evening Standard's 'London's Art Power List 2023'.
Caister explores figuration through the contemporary portrait and nude, looking to the narrative on inherent human nature told in classic tales and mythology, and seeking to locate it within the everyday life she experiences. Drawing from live sittings, Caister captures the essence of her subjects through intricate, emotive lines that resonate with a sense of repetition. Her thoughtful use of colour, applied sparingly yet effectively, breathes life into her portraits, resulting in vivid and dynamic representations and contributing to a rich tapestry of the human experience.
'Tender, truthful, touching. Morag Caister’s figures hold their spaces on the page with a truth that goes beyond mere slavish representation. Her characters are honest, open, engaged and, despite the fragmentation of colour from which they are composed, have a strange fullness and completeness about them that somehow allows you to understand them and their physicality in the space. Caister’s bodies are sparingly filled in, often floating, lost in the emptiness of the space that surrounds them, and her delicacy of touch, her understanding of, and sheer brilliance with line add up to something wholly persuasive and singularly seductive.
Kathleen Soriano (Independent Curator, Cultural Consultant, Broadcaster)
University of Brighton, BA, Painting, 2019
Brighton Metropolitan College, Foundation, Art & Design, 2014
Glyndebourne, Glyndebourne Festival - '90 Years At Glyndebourne'
London, Fitzrovia Gallery (presented by RHODES) - 'Origins'
London, London Print Club - 'Blisters'
Somerset, Babington House - 'Babington House Art Fayre'
London, Unit 1 Gallery - 'Take My Hand'
London, The Hoxton Gallery - 'AOAP x Jack Trodd Auction'
Albania, Tirana, Gallery 70 - 'Looking For Peace' (Solo Exhibition)
Sweden, Stockholm, Gallery 70 - 'Supermarket Art Fair'
London, Blue Shop Cottage - 'WOP4'
London, The Truman Brewery - 'The Other Art Fair'
Warwickshire, Compton Verney Art Gallery - 'Portrait Artist of the Year: The Exhibition', curated by Kathleen Soriano
Rochdale, Touchstones Gallery; Sheffield, Millenium Gallery; Sunderland Museum - The Football Art Prize touring exhibition
Glyndebourne, Gallery 94 - 'Fairground I'
London, Mall Galleries - 'Figurative Art Now'
Brighton Fringe - 'ALTERED'
Glyndebourne Arts Festival, Gallery 94 - 'Forces of Nature'
Brighton Fringe - 'Artists Open Houses'
London, Ruth Borchard Collection - 'Self-Portrait Prize 2021'
London, Blue Shop Cottage - 'WOP3'
London Paint Club - 'Fresh Perspectives'
Glyndebourne, Gallery 94 - 'Fairground'
London, Mall Galleries - 'ING Discerning Eye 2020'
Albania, Tirana, Destil Arts Centre - 'Allie, Joe, Morag'
London, The Truman Brewery - 'Free Range'
Brighton, The University of Brighton - 'Degree Show'
Hove Museum - 'Material Practices'
Albania, Tirana, Destil Arts Centre - '…&…'
Prizes & Shortlists
Evening Standard Art Power List 2023
Jackson's Painting Prize, UK, 2023 (longlist)
Forbes 30 Under 30, Art & Culture, Europe, 2023 (candidate)
Portrait Artist of the Year, UK, 2022 (winner)
Partnership Editions Open Call, UK, 2022 (winner), selected by Yomi Adegoke
The Football Art Prize, UK, 2022 (shortlist)
EROS Award, The Curators, New York/France, 2021 (winner), selected by Diana Widmaier Picasso
Self-Portrait Prize, Ruth Borchard Collection, UK, 2021 (shortlist)
Portrait Artist of the Year, UK, 2020 (semi-finalist)
The National Portrait Gallery, London 2023
Cecconi's Bicester Village, Soho House, 2022
Brighton Beach House, Soho House, 2022
Selected Press & Interviews
Storyvault, Sky Arts, Portrait Artist of the Decade, UK, 2023
Unity House, Sky Arts, Stories from the National Portrait Gallery, UK, 2023
Storyvault Films, Sky Arts, Portrait Artist of the Year Series 9, UK, 2022
Storyvault Films, Sky Arts, Portrait Artist of the Year: The Exhibition, UK, 2022
Storyvault Films, Sky Arts, Portrait Artist of the Year Series 7, UK, 2020