Gillian Ayres developed interest in art at a very young age whilst studding at St Paul’s girls school. After graduating at Camberwell School of Art she teacher in several Art Schools and in 1978 she became the 1 st female in the United Kingdom to reach the post of “Head of Painting” at Winchester School of Art.
Considered one of the most famous British Abstract painters, Ayres was obsesses with painting. Her earlier works are characterised by a limited use of colour and forms and evolved over the years to a more exuberant and colourful body of work. Her oil paintings became even more elaborated and bold during after the moved to Wales in 1981 and became a full time painter. She was also a dedicated printmaker.
In 1963 he her paintings were included in the Whitechapel Art Gallery’s ground-breaking exhibition British painting in the 60s. Her works were also shown at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge (1978) and Arnolfini, Bristol (1964). Museum of Modern Art Oxford (1981); Serpentine Gallery, London (1983); Manchester City Art Gallery (1993); Royal Academy of Arts, London (1997); Southampton City Art Gallery (2005); Jerwood Gallery, Hastings (2010); National Museum of Wales, Cardiff (2017) and CAFA Art Museum, Beijing (2017).
In 1989 she was shortlisted for the Turner Prize, and in 1991 was elected Royal Academician. Ayres was appointed a CBE in 2011.