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Joan Eardley: A Sense of Place

Just back from a trip to Edinburgh to see a very special show.
Joan Eardley has fascinated, inspired and influenced me profoundly since I first came across her work at Aberdeen Art Gallery many, many years ago. Like me she was drawn again and again to what appear, at first, to be two very different subjects: social documentary (in Eardley’s case of inner city Glasgow) and wild landscape (North East Scottish coast).
So excited then to see the first major show of her work in a long time at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.
Much of the work on show is familiar from Christopher Andreae’s comprehensive 2013 book, but even then there are some surprises and, as ever, seeing paintings (and drawings, sketches and photographs) ‘in the flesh’ is revelatory compared with reproductions in books. 
The beautiful ‘Boats on the Shore’, 1963 (see attached) was completely new to me and whilst the exhibition is full of wonderful paintings any show is necessarily selective so if you want to see the monumental ‘High Tide, A Winter Afternoon’, 1961, you’ll still need to head up to Aberdeen. Of course that means you can pop in to Catterline en route and see the place that inspired so much of Eardley’s landscapes and seascapes.
The show is divided roughly between the two great strands of her work, the street children and tenements of 1950s Glasgow and the remote fishing village of Catterline on the East Aberdeenshire coast. 
Here then is a little taster….
….and my own (heavily influenced) picture of the Todhead lighthouse from Catterline made a few years back – part of the series ‘Dreich’
 
img_4799Eardley, Joan Kathleen Harding, 1921-1963; High Tide, a Winter Afternoongma-853todehead_from_catterline_2013
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The Tay Valley, Scotland

Amidst all the turmoil surrounding the EU referendum here in the UK last week, I was fortunate to spend a few days up in Scotland continuing my series of large format landscapes.

This time The Upper Tay Valley in and around Crianlarich….

With 04.30 sunrise and sunset at 22.30, they were long days. Thanks to the good folk at the Crianlarich Hotel who looked after me with my odd time keeping!

A pint of the Colonsay Brewery IPA was a welcome treat at the end of the day…

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The Independent on Sunday New Review and the modern world

Just a quick update on my Scottish Referendum project – the Independent on Sunday New Review in the UK ran a lovely spread this last weekend…..

Also, finally joined the modern world! Please join me on facebook and twitter for news, updates and photography discussion

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The Independent Review-3

 

 

In the far, far north and west

More from my ongoing Scotland work, this time in the far north and west highlands and islands.

The Summer Isles from Achiltibuie…

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Drying the peat for winter fuel, Isle of South Uist…easton_south_uist_01An older image – ‘Storm approaching Sandwood Bay’…
easton_sandwood_01 One of my favourite landscapes in the world – the mountains of Assynt in the North West Highlands…easton_nw_highlands_04 easton_nw_highlands_03 easton_nw_highlands_02 easton_nw_highlands_01 The wonderful ceramicist Lotte Glob in Durness, her sculpture croft is a gem in this far flung outpost….easton_lotte_glob_durnessThe Knoydart peninsula….
easton_knoydart_01 The Paps of Jura, seen from the Isle of Colonsay….easton_isle_of_jura_01The Isle of Barra….
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The Scottish Referendum Project

On September 18th 2014, the people of Scotland will decide whether they want to break away from the UK and become an independent nation. The Union of England and Scotland has been in effect since 1707 when the two separate countries joined together to form Great Britain. This will be the first time the people of Scotland will vote on full independence from the UK. It is also the first time that 16 and 17 year olds will be given a right to vote in a UK election.

Being Scottish, but living in England I don’t get to vote on what is potentially the break up of the UK.  Of course, I can see both sides of the argument and so in an effort to understand more, I’ve been spending some time in Scotland shooting a series of large format photographs of young people born on 18th September 1998. They will celebrate their 16th birthday on the day of the referendum and so will be the youngest people to cast their ballot. It could be argued that being the youngest they also have the most at stake in the future of their country. They are old enough to vote on the breakup of the UK, but too young to consent to having their photograph taken, to young to drive a car, to drink alcohol or to get married. My aim is to give each of these young people a direct voice in the debate without the barrier of a journalists questions or interpretation. Each portrait is accompanied by a hand written text explaining whether the person is voting ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ and their reasons why. I was deeply impressed with all of the young people I spoke to and found them well informed and engaged in the debate, although more than one said to me that they felt it was too much of a responsibility for them to take on when they didn’t have, and felt they couldn’t know, all the facts and implications of full independence for Scotland. Thanks to all for taking part – democracy and political debate is alive and well in the next generation.

Here’s the first few….

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Life’s a Beach

Been working on some large format exhibition prints of new work around the British Coast. Here’s a little taster…..

Broughty Ferry near Dundee, The Isle of Man and  St Ives, Cornwall (from the cafe at the Tate)

For Sale

A few images from my little series ‘For Sale’ published in the Independent on Sunday Review yesterday. Shops and online shopping is soooo last year! I reckon you could just about get everything you need by the side of the road – even one or two things you didn’t know you needed. Tank anyone?