Rosie McGurran was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and received her degree in Fine Art from the University of Ulster in 1992. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and was a member of Queen Street Studios, Belfast in the 1990s. In 1997 she was awarded The Arts Council of Northern Ireland Fellowship to The British School at Rome and The Victor Treacy Award of painting.
In 2000 she re-located to the small village of Roundstone on the west coast of Ireland to research the art history of the village and the nearby island of Inishlacken. She established a gallery and annual island residency, The Inishlacken Project, in 2001 while exhibiting and developing her own work. She has curated many exhibitions in Ireland and abroad while receiving awards and bursaries for her own work. Her work has taken her as far as Australia, Norway, Italy and the U.S. She is an elected member of the Royal Ulster Academy in Belfast.