Camille Souter’s “Carnival at Galway, 1956” is a small scale and intimate painting, reminiscent of the abstract paintings of Paul Klee, with its striking swirls of red and blue paint on a vibrant yellow background. A semi-abstract and lyrical work, it also conjures up in miniature the gestural drips of a Jackson Pollock painting.
Camille Souter is one of the foremost Irish artists of the present day. She was born in England in 1929 but received her education In Ireland. She later returned to England to study nursing at Guy's hospital in London. However, during this time she contracted tuberculosis and it was while she was recovering from this illness that she started to paint. She subsequently gave up her nursing career to concentrate full time on her painting. In 1951 she married the artist Gordon Souter, and during the 1950's, she travelled frequently to Italy on painting tours. She began showing her paintings in Dublin in the 1950's at the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, the Oireachtas Exhibition, and occasionally the Royal Hibernian Academy. She remarried in the 1960's and settled in Co. Wicklow and continued to exhibit in Dublin. She currently lives on Achill Island off the coast of Co. Mayo. Her paintings are now housed in all of the major public collections of Irish art including the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin; the Ulster Museum, Belfast; the Crawford Municipal Gallery, Cork; and the collection of The Arts Council, Dublin.