Fiona Hawthorne was born in Northern Ireland, grew up in Hong Kong, and lives and works between London and New York.
Hawthorne began her career as a reportage artist capturing London’s emerging young jazz scene, a body of work profiled in Thames and Hudson’s 80’s dance floor style anthology “Design After Dark.”
Well known for her delicate and witty line-and-wash style Hawthorne’s drawings regularly graced the pages of Tatler, capturing the English Season’s polo matches, the Henley Regatta and tearooms of Harrods. She spent a year as the first artist in residence to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, culminating in a solo exhibition at The Royal Festival Hall. Her love of steelpan music led her not only to learn to play the instrument and to – through drawing steelpan – give exposure to the virtuosity of an instrument often consigned to the margins of mainstream music, but she created and produced “One Thousand Pans” a huge musical installation for the closing weekend of the 2012 Olympic Games.
A love of Carnival led Hawthorne to win a National commission to cover a 100 meter wall area in West London with her interpretation of Europe’s largest street festival, Notting Hill Carnival. The exhibition was seen by 3 million people and was extended a further 6 months, the images also reaching many corners of the world as film and TV backdrops.
Hawthorne’s economic line and vibrant sense of colour translated naturally to painting on computer. She is now one of UK’s leading digital artists, often commissioned to draw live at events with screen projected to huge canvas, where audiences share her fast, exciting creative process as she works.
Hawthorne’s digital portrait of Barack Obama hangs in the Library of Congress and she has two public art exhibitions currrently open in London – “Project Ramp” at 300 Ladbroke Grove, and “150 Years of the Market” on world famous Portobello Road.