As artists, it’s a good idea to have an Artist Biography and Artwork Statement ready for anything including exhibitions, competition submissions or applications for funding. Here is a guide to help you identify the important information to share about you and your art practice.
What is an Artist Biography?
A concise description of the artist, written in the third person eg. “He”, “She”, “They”.
What is an Artist Biography for?
An Artist Biography presents facts about your development as an artist. It presents a context for your work. A selection panel will be often interested in where or how you learned your skills as it can lend a degree of understanding of why you make what you make.
What should I write in my Artist Biography?
Where are you from?
Where are you currently based?
If you studied, where did you study? Or maybe you are self taught?
What is your main artistic inspiration?
What mediums do you work with?
Does your work belong in any collections?
Do you belong to any art collectives, societies or organisations?
Example: Claude Monet is a painter living and working in Paris, France. His impressionistic style is concerned with capturing light and organic forms in the natural world. Monet studied oil painting and drawing at the Academie Suisse where developed his landscape works to render the beauty of the world around us. A visionary artist, Monet pushes the boundaries of classical painting techniques and his paintings have been exhibited worldwide, most notably in the Paris Salon de 1874. His works are housed in the most prestigious, public and private collections in the world.
What is an Artwork Statement?
A focussed description of the artists work and practice, written in the first person eg. “I”, “My”, “Our”.
What is an Artwork Statement for?
An Artwork Statement communicates the main concerns within your practice. You might consider it a shortcut to understanding what your artwork is about – so that a selection panel, who sometimes have limited time – can get an idea of your work in as short a time as possible.
What should I write in my Artwork Statement?
How? How do you make your work? Describe how your work is made. What kind of approach do you take to your mark making, colour palette and materials?
What? What are the main the subjects or ideas in your works? Look at the physical aspects of your work and describe them to us.
Why? Why do you do what you do? Is there a relationship between your imagery and the mediums you work with? What is the main idea behind your work?
Rather than simply stating how, what and why, try writing a few drafts to blend these ideas into a cohesive Artwork Statement and make sure you are referring to the specific works you are entering into the competition.
Example: “For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment, but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life.. the air and the light which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value. Using bright oil colour, I like to paint as a bird sings, covering the canvas with dabs, dashes and squiggles of paint and recording the passing of time through changes in light.”
We hope this helps you write your Artist Biography and Artwork Statement and perhaps in doing so, also helps to bring your practice into focus.