Arthur Laidlaw

Based Berlin, Germany
Arthur Laidlaw - artist


My work explores the hubris of ‘Western’ viewers looking onto canonised landscapes. The experience of drawing and photographing ancient architecture in the Middle East, months before the Arab Spring, has profoundly shaped the way I see the world. I aim to build a close relationship with my subject, developing my style and methodology accordingly. The tone and aesthetic of the work changes dramatically from place to place; I respond to the landscape, culture, and history of each specific location. This relationship develops when I return to the studio, where I deconstruct both the original medium of documentation, and the subject itself. The result is complex, often consisting of many material layers, assembled gradually. The works challenge viewer expectations and assumptions, slowly destabilising established ‘ways of seeing’.


  • MA, Fine Art, City & Guilds of London Art School
  • BA/MA, History of Art, University of Oxford

Selected Exhibitions & Awards

  • 2019: Portraits, joint show with Tara Benjamin-Morgan at St Catherine's College, Oxford
  • 2019: Spring Cleaning, group show at TTT, Berlin
  • 2019: At World’s End, joint show with Nick Scammell, London
  • 2019: Affordable Art Fair, art fair represented by Susan Moxley, London
  • 2018: Shortlisted for Elephant Magazine x Griffin Gallery Art Prize
  • 2018: Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, art fair at The Royal Arsenal, London
  • 2018: Berlin Project Space Festival, co-curating shadow<> for East of Elsewhere, Berlin
  • 2018: Southern Navigators, group show at Arebyte Camberwell, London
  • 2018: Where Are We Now?, solo show at Vardaxoglou, London
  • 2018: Architecture + Art Weekend, arts festival in collaboration with aquabitArt, Berlin
  • 2018: Cardboard Späti, joint show with Jack Penny & Vivian Le Vavasseur at East of Elsewhere, Berlin
  • 2018: Oxford Art Society Members Exhibition, group show at The Sewell Centre Gallery, Oxford
  • 2018: In Residence, group show at GlogauAIR, Berlin
  • 2018: Fassaden, solo show at coGalleries, Berlin
  • 2018: I Contain Multitudes, group show at East of Elsewhere, Berlin
  • 2017: Winter Solstice Supermix, group show at coGalleries, Berlin
  • 2017: Terrarium, solo show at The Control Room, London
  • 2017: Oxford Art Society Open, group show at The Cloister Gallery, Oxford
  • 2017: Faces In Focus: Mind, group show at Blue Shop Cottage, London
  • 2017: Arthur Laidlaw / Emily Girkins, joint show at Cadogan Contemporary, London
  • 2017: Hangar 1, group show at Acud Macht Neu, Berlin
  • 2016: Young Artist of the Year, Oxford Art Society (awarded by BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz)
  • 2016: Inspiring Generations, group show at D-Contemporary, London
  • 2016: 10x10: Drawing the City London, group show at RIBA, London
  • 2016: ARTROOM, group show at Old Brompton Gallery, London
  • 2016: Oxford Art Society 125th Anniversary Exhibition, group show at The Cloister Gallery, Oxford
  • 2016: Razed: Syrian Ruins, solo show at gallery@oxo, London
  • 2016: Byam Shaw: Summer Show, group show at Old Brompton Gallery, London


  • 2017: Interview with Hugo Barclay, ArtThou
  • 2016: Interview with Henrietta Landells, Photomonitor
  • 2016: Interview with Eliza Easton, 30 Percent Creative
  • 2015: The State Of Art: Installation & Site Specific #2, Barehill Publishing
  • 2015: Fresh Coat, Town & Country (Spring Edition)
  • 2012: Arts Review, The Cherwell
  • 2011: CatzEye, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford
  • 2011: Arts Review, The Oxford Mail


  • Internationally exhibited

Purchase artwork by Arthur Laidlaw

  • Achievements & Goals

    • My biggest achievement so far was an attempt to use art as practical tool for providing aid. In 2016 I put together an exhibition of my work, 'Razed: Syrian Ruins', depicting many sites throughout Syria and some of the surrounding countries that had been destroyed since my visit to draw the monuments. The exhibition sold out and raised £25,000 for The White Helmets, a group of rescue workers providing aid to victims of barrel bombing in Syria.
    • My objectives keep shifting, but an underlying constant is the desire is to slow things down; artists have the luxury of time in grappling with their subjects, and I aspire for my works to provide a new, 'slower' perspective on a subject – even (or perhaps especially) if that subject has been covered relentlessly in the news. My objective is for viewers of my work to take some small part of that slow, deliberate way of reading an image into the remainder of their lives.
  • Genre & Style

    • The greatest stylistic influence on my work and subject is probably my History of Art degree, which continues to play a profound role in the way I view materials and techniques, as well as the modes of reinterpretation or 'ways of seeing' open to a viewer.
  • Inspiration & Vision

    • I am motivated by history, in my attempts to understand the present. In practice, this means looking to our built environment and the concrete remains of past generations & empires, and how those power structures and hierarchies still affect us in our lives and values today.
  • Sales & Trajectory

    • Already sold works
    • Self-financed
  • Technique & Material

    • Drawing and work on paper has always been at the heart of my work, and everything else spirals out from there. I try to adapt the material or means of production to fit the project I'm working on, depending on what it is.


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