‘In­cred­i­ble re­sponse’ to dis­play of artist’s work

EX­HI­BI­TION: This weekend is fi­nal chance to see Joan Eard­ley’s paint­ings

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - richard WaTT ri­watt@the­courier.co.uk

Mas­sive pub­lic in­ter­est is an­tic­i­pated for a fi­nal look at the Mearns paint­ings of one of Scot­land’s finest mod­ern artists.

Joan Eard­ley di­vided a 15-year ca­reer be­tween paint­ing the street chil­dren of Glas­gow and the wild land­scape of Cat­ter­line, be­fore her death from cancer aged 42 in 1963.

The Scot­tish Na­tional Gallery of Mod­ern Art in Ed­in­burgh has seen an “in­cred­i­ble re­sponse” to what has be­come one of its most pop­u­lar ex­hi­bi­tions, with queues out the door in Belford Road on week­ends.

And to­mor­row’s fi­nal open­ing will see talks by cu­ra­tor Pa­trick El­liott and local pho­tog­ra­pher Ron Stephen, who lived next to Eard­ley in the vil­lage in the 1950s.

“When you see the paint­ings, I can plant my feet in the spot,” he said of the Cat­ter­line images.

“There’s no doubt about it, she was some­thing else.”

Cat­ter­line Pri­mary School pupils have been able to visit the ex­hi­bi­tion thanks to buses put on by the gallery, and a lamp-post fes­tooned with stick­ers on the nearby Dean Bridge gives some in­di­ca­tion as to the pub­lic in­ter­est in Eard­ley’s work so far.

Eard­ley was born in Sus­sex and her fam­ily moved to Bears­den in 1939.

A prize-win­ning grad­u­ate of Glas­gow School of Art, she spent part of each year in ac­com­mo­da­tion with­out elec­tric­ity or run­ning wa­ter, and be­mused local fish­er­men with her habit of paint­ing next to the dan­ger­ous wa­ter.

Be­yond the well-loved paint­ings at its core, Joan Eard­ley: A Sense Of Place draws on sketches and pho­to­graphs which re­main largely un­known.

Mr El­liott said: “Eard­ley’s al­ways been mas­sively pop­u­lar at the gallery and we get more re­quests for her than we do Pi­casso or Matisse.”

Stick­ers on a lamp-post on Dean Bridge in Ed­in­burgh show just how pop­u­lar the ex­hi­bi­tion of Joan Eard­ley’s work has been.

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