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Edinburgh art exhibition celebrates centenary of painter Joan Eardley

© The Eardley EstateArtist Joan Eardley in a cornfield at Catterline behind her cottage
Artist Joan Eardley in a cornfield at Catterline behind her cottage

Celebrations to mark the centenary year of Scottish artist Joan Eardley continue later this month with a new exhibition in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Gallery will explore the life, work and legacy of one of the nation’s favourite painters, who died in 1963 from cancer aged just 42.

Eardley’s Glasgow is one of the central themes of the exhibition, focusing on the works she produced in and around her Townhead studio.

She uniquely recreated the life and community of Scotland’s biggest city, often focusing on children.

The exhibition also explores her works from Catterline, where she had a home from 1954, and concentrated on the landscape.

Her subjects ranged from the wild winter storm to the thrum of life in the field-edges above the cliff tops.

Joan Eardley centenary: Alison Watt hails lifelong inspiration as celebrations salute one of Scotland’s greatest painters

Eardley drew exclusively and was technically innovative, pressing seeds and stems into the impasto if her oils and often using newspaper as collage, making powerful physical works.

Despite her progressive illness, Eardley kept painting as long as she could, moving to a more domestic subject matter when she could no longer go outside.

In Jar of Summer Flowers, Eardley gathered wildflowers and grasses from the field edges to make what would become her final subject.

It is one of a group made in the summer of 1963 before she was admitted to hospital in Killearn where she died on August 16.

Anne Morrison-Hudson, Eardley’s niece, said: “This centenary year is evolving into a wonderful celebration of Joan Eardley’s artistic legacy with events happening across Scotland.

“These have been challenging times to plan such an ambitious exhibition but as usual The Scottish Gallery has risen to the task. The long and productive association between the artist, family and gallery remain as important as ever in maintaining and promoting the name of Joan Eardley here in Scotland and further afield.”

A number of special events including tours and talks will take place at the gallery, where the exhibition runs from Friday July 30 to Saturday August 28.