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Emerging Artist: Phoebe Craighill - "I can't see the future yet"

Phoebe Craighill is a 17-year-old college student who studies fine art amongst other creative subjects and volunteers at D31 Art Gallery. Phoebe will be leaving for university next September and is currently unsure of what course she's going to take, only that it will be a creative one. Her other interests are film, literature and performing arts but in the past year, art has dominated her focus, from the workload of A Level art coursework to working in the gallery and even producing a series of paintings that are exhibited in the gallery itself and online.

I can't make up my mind of what to do, it feels as if I must pick one creative path over the rest when really I want to do them all. I love analysing, planning, writing, drawing, dancing, painting, filming, editing, researching, photographing, and I strive to learn, be inspired by, and create and inspire what I can in this world. But I also find trying to undertake them all at once a challenge.

Phoebe alternates between abstract expressionism and detailed, expressive drawings, her abstract work usually uses acrylic paint, mixed media, or charcoal whilst her drawings use pencil, fine liner, charcoal, or biro. She likes to base her work on either her close-up photography (this is usually of objects or natural textures), her imagination or imagery she sees in her dreams/nightmares, the need to release energy, or by being inspired by other artists' styles and concepts.

Ink portrait drawing on A3 paper


This year, Phoebe became interested in action painting, how the energy used to create a painting is the art itself, hence the abstract techniques she's been using have been heavily inspired by Jackson Pollock. During lockdown, Phoebe found action painting a highly effective stress relief and this changed her perceptions of the art/creative world and now feels a deeper connection with it. This growing identity she has with art and the time and effort she puts into her work has made deciding what she wants to do during her time at university more difficult, given that she also has a background in dance since being very young and also wants to explore new skills in film production.

Art is Fun (for sale in D31's Summer Exhibition)

Acrylic on canvas


The more I understand about this world, the more confident I become in myself. I believe that awareness isn't the same as understanding given that awareness can act as a barrier to it. I can be aware of my passions and interests, but I have not yet concluded what to do with them, so I'm yet to have a true understanding of my own creativity. I don't like to fear the unknown, to stay positive I see this unknown as a goal - one day I'll figure it out.

Phoebe's work can be found in the D31 online shop and the gallery in 13 Scot Lane DN1 1EW and also on her Instagram

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