Stephen Barclay, born 1961
Barclay trained at Glasgow School of Art from 1980 until 1985, and since graduating has emerged as a painter of considerable individuality. He first came to public attention when, in 1985, his work was included in the exhibition New Image Glasgow. The style of his early paintings, with their raw images and powerful expressive brushwork, has developed into works of compositional complexity showing a new awareness of visual poetics.
A recurring theme in Barclay's painting is the devastation of war, in particular the Second World War. Both his parents served in the Armed Forces at that time, and he has drawn on their experiences. Instead of a fashionable landscape of antiquity, Barclay invokes one marked by the legacy of war and its aftermath, exploring, by means of monumental figures and objects, what he describes as "war’s permanent shadow".