Ross Sinclair


Ross Sinclair is an artist and musician and writer who also teaches. In 1994 Sinclair had the tattoo, Real Life, inked on his back and since then his work has taken the form of a simultaneous celebration and commiseration of the paradigm of The Real – from the inside out, and always in relation to a particular context and audience. He has described the ‘Real Life’ character he has utilised in many works since then like a character a writer would use in a series of books, appearing in different settings while remaining essentially the same through all the challenges and context of the different projects he has made. Sinclair employs many formal devices including performance and painting, installation and music, often all at the same time.

Since the late ‘80’s he has shown in hundreds of group and solo exhibitions in the UK, Europe and beyond, producing various monographs on his artworks, notably “If North Was South and East Was West”, (Badischer Kunstverein, 2004) as well as writing texts and essays in various books and publications. He continues to make music, often in relation to his artworks and periodically releases these songs in some form or other, most recently in the L.P. Everything Flows, Experimental art into music (Patricia Fleming Projects 2012). His work is held in many collections, The Scottish Arts Council, The British Council, Arts Council of England, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, England, The Pier Arts Centre, Orkney, Stirling District Council, Sammlung Hauser & Wirth, St Gallen, Hamburg Kunsthalle, Collection Lambert, Avignon, France, and Private Collections, Switzerland, Germany, UK, France, USA, Hong Kong.

Sinclair’s Real Life projects, have often sought to re-imagine the relationships in our society through an ongoing investigation of the many institutions and constructs social / political / economic / cultural / geographic/ historic to which we all are inextricably linked as individuals, and collectively. Over the last 20 years, an important thread of Sinclair’s work has sought to address the very particular nature of the individual, collective and national identities of the small damp Northern-European nation sometimes known as Scotland. The Real Life Gordons of Huntly, 1318 – 2011 is the latest manifestation of this series. That work and many others from the series are discussed in the Book “We ♥ Real Life Scotland” published by Deveron Arts in 2012.

Sinclair has won various international prizes, most notably a Creative Scotland Award, 2007, the Baloise, Statements prize at the Basel Art fair in 2001, Arendt Oetker Atelier Stipendium, Galerie fur Zeitgenossische Kunst, Leipzig, 1999 and was the recipient of a Hamlyn Award 1998-2000. He is currently a Research Fellow at Glasgow School of Art.