Lyon & Turnbull Graduate Showcase Award 2023 – Lizzie Henson

Lizzie Henson was the recipient of the 2023 Lyon & Turnbull Graduate Showcase Award. As part of the award, Lizzie will be spending one week at Sweeney’s Bothy in April 2024.

The award will culminate this summer with an exhibition of Lizzie’s recent work at Lyon & Turnbull’s Edinburgh showroom, alongside the public view of their Contemporary Art auction.

Lizzie Henson (b.1999) is a recent graduate from Edinburgh College of Art where she studied BA Painting, graduating in 2023. She is now based in York, UK where she was born and grew up.

Through materiality, the physicality of colour, and line, Lizzie creates with a sense of motion and presence. Juxtapositions in scale, weight, and pace provide the viewer with tactile and sensory pieces with an impact. Lizzie confronts the viewer with intangible spaces that question not who you are but where you are through tonality and surface. The fluid nature of her practice means she is not wanting to work towards meeting a resolution but instead capturing movement in something static through the fluidity of ink. Ideas for her work are kept pure and honest by realising those first initial thoughts before letting her mind overcomplicate the composition.

From serene applications of colour to blocked out spaces and dramatic gestures, arresting metaphorical spaces are created with notions of trace and physicality. Definitive rectangles amplifies Lizzie’s exploration of control and uncontrol by contrasting neat edges against loose gestures. She achieves different levels of noise through interactions between gradients of colour, size, and their placement.  These tensions within Lizzie’s practice all comes down to her choices in material, colour, and line.

Lyon & Turnbull’s Graduate Showcase Award was launched in 2017 to provide an opportunity for a graduate to further their practice during the crucial twelve month period after leaving university. Lyon & Turnbull Auctioneers have an established history of supporting Scotland’s art institutions and art practitioners in the form of prizes, awards and sponsorship. Recognising how important and scarce opportunities are immediately after graduation, they were keen to expand their remit to offer a platform for emerging, early career artists. Each year, specialists Charlotte Riordan and Carly Shearer from Lyon & Turnbull’s painting department, select an undergraduate from the Edinburgh College of Art degree show. The chosen artist receives a supported residency with Bothy Project and a profile-raising exhibition at Lyon & Turnbull’s Edinburgh saleroom.











Image 1: portrait of Lizzie Henson. Courtesy of the artist.
Header images: Lizzie Henson, Graduate Show, Edinburgh College of Art, 2023. Courtesy of the artist.