Neal Greig was born in Belfast in 1965. He studied BA Hons in Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art from 1983 to 1987 and then went on to do a post graduate in Drawing and Painting from 1988 to 1989. He was awarded The Andrew Grant Scholarship for Post Graduate Study.
In 1991 he was Artist in Residence at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and has been awarded residencies at The Vermont Studio Centre Fellowship in Vermont USA, Ballinglen fellowship, O’Reardon House Fogo Island Newfoundland, invited artist with Ontario Art Society Field Trip and Cill Raillig Art Studios.
Neal has exhibited widely in Ireland, his most recent one person shows include the Claremorris Contemporary Gallery Mayo, Doorway Gallery Dublin, Gormleys Fine Art Belfast, Custom House Studios Mayo and in June Alley Art Centre Strabane. He has also exhibited in Chicago at the Lyon Fine Art, Fidra Fine Art Scotland, Compass Gallery Glasgow, Barbara Stanley Gallery London, The Hammond Gallery and the Chimera Gallery Mullingar.
In 2013 Greig exhibited in the Royal Academy Annual Summer Exhibition London and has exhibited in the Royal Ulster Academy on several occasions and in 2018 he was elected to the Royal Ulster Academy. In 2011 Neal received the Pollock Krasner Award from the Foundation in New York.
He has received various commissions including The Patrick Kavanagh Bicentenary Monaghan County Museum, Queens University Department of Paleoecology. He has worked on a variety of community art projects including Selected Workshops, Portrait of A Village Creative Ireland 2018/19 Monaghan Youth Project, Mullaghmat breakfast Club Recycling Project and has worked Artist in Prison scheme through the Arts Council of Ireland.
His work is held in numerous public and corporate art Collections including The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Office of Public Works, Boyle Civic Collection, AIB Bank, Limerick County Council, Bank of Ireland, Beaumont Hospital, ACC Bank, Mayo County Council, Monaghan County Museum. Donegal County Council, The Northern Ireland Arts Council Collection and the Royal Ulster Academy Collection.
"Exploring the language of paint and investigating creativity of the moment are fundamental aspects on my journey of making a painting. The elemental combination of earth, air, fire and water are my core subject matter, once thought by the ancient Chinese to be the components of a human body. I seek to infuse and overlap these elements in a distillation of paint. There are musical and poetic comparisons as I aim to create a breadth of dialogue in response to a live landscape situation. I weave a line between abstract passages of paint that which is familiar, analytical and representational.
I document the light, space and texture, spontaneously painting the changes, observing and marking the passing of time. At times a vigorous approach is employed, capturing a sense of urgency in an effort to catch the changing light. This could then pass on to analytical observation, seeking to emulate the subtle complexity of natural forms. Working outside brings an instinctive aspect to painting. I employ a directness of articulation and economy of language. At times areas are left understated while other areas are the focus of attention. This is reflective of how the mind, the eye and the hand respond in a cohesive flow in response to working from life, whilst the creative energy emanates from the heart. I look for a sense of pictorial space, taking the furthest point from the eye, then drawing the composition towards me. Conversely, the viewer, looking at the surfaces and reading the painting is gradually drawn through the space. In a sense I am painting an organic, natural space rather than a picturesque view of the landscape. I am not averse to the beauty and interconnectedness of things. The palette of colours is kept simple. Considerable mixing takes place, on the palette and on the painting.”