Simon Lee Gallery is proud to announce representation of Donna Huddleston (b. 1970, Belfast, Northern Ireland) with the launch of our most recent 'Artist in Focus' online viewing room.
The art of Donna Huddleston (b. 1970, Belfast, Northern Ireland) draws on a range of influences that span the worlds of film, theatre, literature, design and the visual arts.
Collapsing the boundaries between life and theatre, Huddleston's drawings marry ritualistic narrative with an unpretentious medium. Her dramatic tableaux and cryptic pencil studies combine the austerity of technical drawing with a tonally resonant palette. Her media includes Caran d'ache colour pencil, metal-point, watercolour and graphite. The evocation of memory through texture is the formalist ambition of Huddleston's works on paper.
Her alternately stark and theatrical compositions include objects made in various media that combine sculptural presence with functionality and set design.
Rich with incident and gesture, Huddleston's drawings and objects nuance sinister presence with ambiguous comedy. Scissors, an empty but self-replicating room, a line of dancing cowgirls, a gargantuan papier-mâché shell beached on soap, a deranged actress with the bearing of a Tudor duchess—the theatrical world depicted in Huddleston's work is a tense and emotionally volatile place.
Although born in Belfast, Huddleston grew up in Australia, where she studied at the National School of Art in Sydney and later graduated with a Bachelor of Theatre Design from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts. This led to an early career in film and theatre. Her experiences in this field precipitated a preoccupation with the ephemerality of set design and performance, evident in her works' careful staging.
Donna Huddleston was born in 1970 in Belfast, Northern Ireland and lives and works in London, UK. She was raised in Australia and studied at the National Art School in Sydney in 1994, before graduating in Stage Design from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1997. In 2020 she was a recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award and in 2018 was awarded grants from Arts Council England and the Henry Moore Foundation. She has twice previously been awarded the Elephant Trust Grant (2013 and 2018) and was shortlisted for the inaugural Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2005. Recent solo exhibitions include Drawing Room, London, UK (2013 and 2019); Charles Asprey—Tyers St., London, UK (2019) and Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK (2012). Recent group exhibitions include Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK (2019); Reading Art Gallery, Reading International, Reading, UK (2017); White Cube, London, UK (2017); Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2016); Isabella Bortolozzi Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2015); Arts Council Collection, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, UK and touring (2015) and Jerwood Space, London, UK and touring (2010—2011). Her works are held in private and public collections including British Arts Council, London; Tia Collection, Santa Fe, NM and UBS Art Collection, New York, NY.
Press release courtesy Simon Lee Gallery.