The Spiritual in the Abstract: Gillian Ayres’ Papua (1988)

By Ella Nixon, PhD student at Northumbria University, in collaboration with the Laing Art Gallery. Her thesis explores the representation of female artists within regional art galleries.

Figure 1: After Sandro Botticelli (1444/1445–1510), The Madonna of the Magnificat (19th Century). Oil on canvas, 111.8 x 11.8 cm. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Figure 2: Gillian Ayres, Merlin (1983). Oil on canvas, 30.5 x 30.5 cm. The John Creasey Museum, Salisbury.
Oil painting showing lots of different colours and patterns
Figure 3: Gillian Ayres, Papua (1988). Oil on canvas, 274.3 x 274.4 cm. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Painting depicting the destruction of a city with fire
Painting depicting the destruction of a city with fire
Figure 4: John Martin, The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (1852). Oil on canvas, 136.3 x 212.3 cm. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Photograph of woman with brown hair, jumper and jeans sitting in front of art
Photograph of woman with brown hair, jumper and jeans sitting in front of art
Figure 5: Gillian Ayres by Roger Mayne modern bromide print from original negative, 1960, © Roger Mayne / National Portrait Gallery, London

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