Monday, 5 December 2016

A sense of place

The last art class of the term took us to the Joan Eardley exhibition, 'A Sense of Place', held at the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh.  Actually, randomly, the gallery has been renamed Modern Two, which doesn't seem to appeal to anyone, and it will probably always be referred to as the Dean!  
Most of the exhibition is held in the four galleries upstairs, and although I have visited the Dean Gallery many times, I have never before looked up while climbing the stairs.  If I had I would have seen The Stairwell Project by Richard Wright, which, I thought was rather wonderful!  There is a video about the project here
Joan Eardley had a tragically short career as an artist.  She died very young, at the age of 42.  She was born in Sussex but lived most of her life in Scotland, working initially from her studio in the back streets of Glasgow, in the early 1950s, and subsequently in the north eastern coastal village of Catterline, south of Aberdeen.  While living there she produced powerful paintings of the cottages, as they teeter between the land and the sea, and seascapes using a magnificent array of greys, and colours which identify the east coast light.  You can read more about this rather enigmatic artist here
Below is a photo of a photo of Joan Eardley, drawing in the Townhead area of 1950s Glasgow, where she sketched urchin children, playing in the streets, near her studio.  The area held a fascination for her and maybe she is best known for her paintings of these children, predominantly featuring young members of the Sansom family.
One of my favourite things about the Dean Gallery (Modern Two) is the allotment site which sits alongside the gallery building.  I always have to have a peek over the wall.  

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