Amy Shuckburgh

Amy Shuckburgh's motherhood series explores intimate moments of caregiving, capturing aspects of the serenity, exhaustion, stresses and pleasures of being a mother. Challenging the traditional male gaze, Amy's images of women's bodies are not idealistic or heroic, but raw and truthful. They observe a world that has often been overlooked by artists; a private, domestic realm where women are strong, and yet frequently vulnerable and ignored. Jaqueline Rose (Professor of Humanities at Birkbeck Institute) describes Amy's work as 'sensuous without a trace of coercive sentiment, embodied without burden. Shuckburgh's delicate yet bold and vivid images of motherhood manage to evoke a portrait for our time that avoids the twin pitfalls of idealisation and punishment.'

Amy’s series began as a way of processing and celebrating being a mother and the particular challenge of caring for a child with special needs. She draws on decades of portrait-painting, both of children and adults, and a developing interest in truth-telling and instinctive mark-making in her work. She wanted to draw the feeling of being with her children, rather than just capturing how her children looked. Amy began drawing her restless two-year old, the frenetic marks and plethora of colour reflecting the jagged and splintered feeling of self which comes with motherhood. This act of drawing calms her and her children, externalising feelings of intensity and fragmentation.

Amy lives and works in Somerset and has exhibited and sold her work widely since graduating in 2000. She is known for her lively landscapes of Cornwall and France as well as her colourful still life. Her portrait of the late Nobel-Prize winning playwright Harold Pinter, completed from sittings in 2006, is permanently displayed at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London. Amy’s motherhood work won her the Heatherley’s Drawing Award in 2019. She has studied at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, the St Ives School in Cornwall, The Royal Drawing School and the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Amy also has a master’s degree in Curating from Goldsmiths College, London and is an elected associate artist at Unison Colour. Amy’s work is held in numerous private collections around the world.