Amy Winstanley. Lost Hap

22 Jun 2023 – 14 Jul 2023

Regular hours

11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00

Save Event: Amy Winstanley. Lost Hap1

I've seen this

People who have saved this event:



Margot Samel is pleased to present Lost Hap, a new suite of paintings by Glasgow-based artist Amy Winstanley (b. 1983, United Kingdom). The exhibition title derives from Sara Ahmed’s meditation on happiness and its etymology in her book Living a Feminist Life (2017). Here, Ahmed traces the word’s origin back to the Middle English word hap, defined as luck or chance, asking how, in this current moment, happiness seems to have ‘lost its hap’, meaning its lightness and curiosity, its ease and unsystematic nature. Winstanley’s title itself has some of these attributes, at first registering humorously as a spelling error – hat for hap.

Ahmed’s text refuses to separate the personal and political, or mind from body, and she writes against the hierarchies, racism and sexism of our societies. For Winstanley’s purposes, this has implications for our understanding of the constrictive ways of being in the world that have led to the climate emergency. Hap is also a component part of perhapshaphazard and happenstance, and with this body of work, she astutely suggests that painting might be a space where new connections can be mooted and something of these lost qualities regained. As such, the artist’s stance is similarly critical to Ahmed’s, albeit more obliquely.

In the studio, Winstanley follows an open, meandering and intuitive approach. She doesn’t prepare for a painting in any traditional sense, instead she constructs a constellation of activity of which painting is one part – along with reading a book or making a drawing, listening to a podcast or looking at an artist’s monograph. Winstanley flits between these things, ideas filter between the tasks, and in the paintings a set of relationships gradually emerge. This attitude is key to the range of effects that surface in each work. There are speckled sections of dark maroon quilted together, swathes of blue dispersed by narrow vines of yellow and light pink, the stacked forms of a cultivated hillside, dark branches (as if lit from behind), and a hazy orange sun. Some marks find their place quickly, thickly applied or dry brushed, while other are worked in, mixed together, or overpainted. The white of an undercoat of gesso shines through thinner passages in the pieces, giving the colours vibrancy and the compositions a luminous aspect.

The cumulative result of Winstanley’s decisions is a set of complex natural textures and small vistas which resemble psychedelic landscapes – as if moving through a forest into a clearing, your vision temporarily affected by the change in light. This is no coincidence. Winstanley grew up in rural Scotland and was always surrounded by nature. This enmeshment was an important influence on her way of seeing and it comes to the aid of her painterly work and concern with the climate crisis. Her paintings reflect the freedom and exploration of her childhood, and their ecological allusions point to a radical effort to find points of connection with the world. They are full of mutualistic relationships, unexpected bonds and braids, elements embroiled with other elements – of things happening.

— Calum Sutherland

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Amy Winstanley


Have you been to this event? Share your insights and give it a review below.