Gavin McIntosh

Born 1973, Colchester, UK

Despite being born in Colchester, I grew up in the Highlands and North East of Scotland and after leaving school at 16 with no real qualifications, worked a few jobs in retail and hospitality before completing a foundation course at Aberdeen College. I was not in the right place mentally to produce a quality portfolio and attended only very patchily, but despite this I cobbled something together and Gray’s School of Art very generously placed me on their reserve list for the 1992 intake. With the benefit of hindsight, I am grateful for not going to art school at that time as I needed to mature and reach a more stable place.

In 1993, Aberdeen University ran a unique access course, where people without academic qualifications could undertake a ten week university level course, which if completed successfully would grant them access to a degree programme of their choice. This was life-changing for me and the others who benefited from the opportunity and I thrived at university where I studied for a joint masters in English Literature and Philosophy and subsequently was awarded a scholarship to complete a PhD in the Philosophy of Art at the University of Leeds. Having been raised in working class, council estate communities, the experience of university was extraordinary and I came into contact with a world of intellectual and artistic influences that I had no idea existed.

In 2002, with a young family to support, I took a temp job with the DWP and subsequently a permanent job with the NHS, where I worked for almost twenty years, before taking voluntary redundancy in April 2023. Throughout my academic study and subsequent career, I continued to paint and in the early 2000s began to exhibited in open shows and local community exhibitions, before having a number of solo and group shows in more recent years. I now paint full-time from my home studio in the Burley area of Leeds.


1998-2002: PhD, Philosophy of Art, University of Leeds, UK

1997-98: MLitt, Philosophy, University of Aberdeen

1993-97: MA(Hons) English Literature and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen

1993 University of Aberdeen Summer School Degree Access Course

1991: Art Portfolio Foundation Course, Aberdeen College, UK

Recent and Upcoming Exhibitions:

2023: Institute for Palestine Studies Solidarity Exhibition, IPS Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon (invited to donate a work)

2022: Mercer Open, Mercer Gallery, Harrogate

2022: Fronteer Open, Fronteer Gallery, Sheffield

2022: CHROMA, Group Exhibition, Cole’s Gallery, Leeds, UK

2022: Plans A to D, Micro Exhibition, Bloc Projects, Sheffield

2022: Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre, Leeds, UK – solo exhibition

2022: Ferens Art Gallery Open Exhibition, Hull, UK


Gavin’s work is held in private collections in the UK, USA and Australia


Book Review: The Metaphysics of Beauty, Nick Zangwill, Mind 113 (449):221-226 (2004)

Article: ‘Depiction unexplained: Peacocke and Hopkins on pictorial representation’, British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (3):279-288 (2003)