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Painting (MA)

Heather Green

Against all odds: MA Painting student finishes course

"If you had asked me when I started in 2019, I never would have been able to predict what kind of experience I was going to have at the RCA. Whatever timeline I had set out for myself, whatever direction I thought my practice was going to go in...

I was wrong.

I didn't think I would transfer my RCA studio to a paddling pool in my garden. I didn't think I would complete my dissertation without access to a library. I didn't think I would ever make it to second year.

But I did do all of those things.

When I returned, it was to a place that was simultaneously familiar and entirely alien. Everything I thought I knew about myself and my practice was different. It was a bigger challenge than it ever felt before, one that could have defeated me if it were not for the unfaltering support and encouragement of my studio-mates and tutors.

I am older, wiser(?), and despite it all I am still painting!

It feels so odd to finally be at the end... Or is it the beginning?"

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Heather Green (B.1993, Middlesbrough) currently lives and works in London.

She studied her BA in Painting at UAL Wimbledon College of Arts (2013-2016) where she was awarded the Landmark PLC painting prize 2016 and was shortlisted for the Clyde & Co. Art Awards 2016. She was recently shortlisted for the Fribourg Philanthropies prize 2023.

Degree Details

School of Arts & HumanitiesPainting (MA)RCA2023 at Truman Brewery

Truman Brewery, F Block, Ground, first and second floors

Artist standing left of 2 paintings: left is pink with green and yellow shapes, charcoal lines; right is blue with brown splash.

Everything that is still (hiding) in this immense treasure

News articles provide an entry point for the eerie or uncanny, that the title should become its own mark within the painting as much as any brushstroke or pour. Language has significance. Every word or phrase I extract from each story is infused with the social and political concerns contained within it.

There is a ritual in news reading where I find surprising comfort. I situate myself among the stories of the world while existing in my own.

She always wears a broad smile that masks quiet determination

I have been recognising patterns of anxiety and self doubt, creating a system of rules that allow me to break through moments of hesitation or conflict, and instead establish a foundation of action.

To be in control of something is to have influence over it, to have the power to establish the scope of possibility. I am the authority and every piece is a reflection of my internal battle for control.

A strange competitive edge creeps into the playground

Every piece is an individual, yet across the series there is an undeniable resemblance. Not every piece contains every element of the other, but there is a system of interconnected traits that are gradually expanding into a lineage.

I am challenging conformity and entertaining incoherence.

There is nothing I can't do.

Pink green brown background. Charcoal marks across & small hexagon bottom left. Yellow, blue and white blocked sections. Bodily.
Detail of charcoal hexagon, layered on top of central yellow marks, charcoal line on the right with blue mark and green surround
Detail of under painting, yellow scribble bottom middle, charcoal line on the right intersected with blue line. Green and brown.


Oil, acrylic and charcoal on canvas


180 x 110 x 3cm
Pale blue, acrylic ripple lines in the top half, texture paste splash lines in the bottom, 3 turquoise vertical windows central
Detail showing texture paste on the right. horizontal acrylic marks at the top. A masked section reveals greenish hue underneath
Detail of painted texture section. Blue haze. Greenish hue masked section strip.


Oil, acrylic, ink and texture paste on canvas


180 x 110 x 3cm
White painting with blue, pink, purple bleeding through the right. Magenta line 1 x 175cm along the right side of the painting.
Close up of colours coming through white surface in puddles. Oranges, purples, greens. Very faint and ghostly.
Detail showing under painting haze. Purples and blues coming through the white surface. Right: close up of the magenta line.


Oil and gesso on canvas


180 x 110 x 3cm
Looks upside down, brown top, blue bottom. Cavelike. Bright with yellows and purples through. Dark splash through middle. Space.
Detail of painting. Purple stains going right and blue stains going upwards. Cadmium yellow drips going upwards.
Close up of top section of painting. Reds and blues fall down the canvas from bold brown section at the top into a white abyss.


Oil, acrylic and ink on canvas


180 x 110 x 3cm
Silver leaf top right corner & bottom left. Right: purple with blue cloud centre top. Top left: orange line, yellow hexagon
Silver leaf detail. purple and turquoise splash background with large imitation silver leaf square at a 45 degree angle.
Detail of painting showing the bottom of the cadmium yellow top stripe. Purple left, blue middle, pinkish white left. watery.


Oil, acrylic, ink and imitation leaf on canvas


180 x 110 x 3cm
Brown backing. Red bleed top right. Centre form white, mauve & black pours across surface. Cut with pink powder & viridian lines
Detail of paint haze, pink powder sprinkle at top, brown and white chemical paint mix throughout. Water bubble impression.
Detail of hexagon. Shows under painting of white bleeding through chemical drips in brown and blueish grey.


Oil and acrylic paint, raw pigments and charcoal on canvas


180 x 110 x 3cm
Woven strips of canvas with holes. Grid format. Three stripes of colour in centre: red left, ultramarine middle, black right.
Detail of red stripe. Shows weaving bandages, acrylic detail in bold red. Stained canvas stripes with green hazes.
Top of black bar, shows gesso matte black splodge marks. Woven canvas stained with purple and blue.


Oil, acrylic, charcoal and black gesso on canvas strips


180 x 110 x 3cm
Full black canvas. Red bleeding marks in centre and extending sharply. Viridian dust clouds and pthalo blue sharp marks
Detail of painting, showing acrylic lines, charcoal details and red oil painting scratched through to the surface.
Detail of painting, showing subtle greens and blues. Bold red patches and acrylic texture lines.


Oil, acrylic, raw pigment and charcoal on canvas


180 x 110 x 3cm
White background with green, yellow bleeding through across. White splash centre top. 1 x 40cm cad yellow line cut diagonal left
Detail of top of yellow line. Showing painted forms underneath the white of the painting. Oranges, yellows and purples bleeding.
Detail showing full white section with oil haze, brownish and orange bleeding through the surface. Organic form.


Oil, ink and gesso on canvas


180 x 110 x 3cm