Abstract, Issue 26

Welcome to our Summer newsletter bringing you news of current exhibitions and loans, stories of recent Trust activities and our usual updates:

  • Find out the latest news on Mark Cousins’ documentary on Barns-Graham
  • Join us for a workshop at Edinburgh Book Festival
  • Celebrate the unveiling of Barns-Graham’s Birthplace Plaque
  • Save the Date for the British Art Fair
  • Catch up on our latest blogs
  • Make note of Where to See Willie
  • Enjoy our newly acquired Picture of the Month

Sales agent Irina Cadavid, Trust Chair Karyn Watt, Trust Director Rob Airey, Mark Cousins and producers Mary Bell and Adam Dawtrey at the World Premiere of A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things. Photo: KVIFF

A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things | Crystal Globe Winner

Mark Cousins’ latest film, a documentary essay on Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and her unique way of sensing the world, received its World Premiere last week at the prestigious Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic, where it played in competition. Over 1,000 people attended its debut screening at the majestic Hotel Thermal. At the end of the Festival we received the unexpected news that the film had won the competition prize, the Crystal Globe. Congratulations to Mark and his collaborators!

The film will now go on to receive its UK Premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival (details below) and will be distributed to cinemas nationwide in October via Conic Film.

Join us for the UK Premiere! A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things will be shown at 1PM on Wed 21 August at The Cameo Picturehouse, Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Tickets are available from their website.

Two pages from the forthcoming children's art activity book

Barns-Graham Children’s Book

Next month we are publishing a delightful art activity book for children. In this book by illustrator Annabel Wright and art educator Kate Temple, Barns-Graham’s two faithful cats will guide you through her amazing life and introduce her art through a range of fun and engaging activities. Look out for further updates about the book going on sale.

To celebrate the launch of the book, Kate Temple will be hosting a free workshop for children at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with colourful and fun activities based on the book.

A Life in Colour with Kate Temple will take place on Sun 25 August from 12:30-15:30 at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in the EFI Children’s Tent.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham's Birthplace Plaque installed at 11 Abbotsford Crescent, St Andrews. Photo: Michal Zagórski

Unveiling Barns-Graham’s Birthplace Plaque

On 4 June, the Trust unveiled a plaque to mark the birthplace of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham at 11 Abbotsford Crescent, St Andrews. Although Barns-Graham only lived here for the first three years of her life, she maintained close link with St Andrews, particularly from the 1960s when she inherited Balmungo House just south of the town, where she would divide her time with her home in St Ives until her death in 2004. Thank you to all the family and friends of Barns-Graham and the Trust who came to celebrate with us.

The family’s former home now forms part of McIntosh Hall, a halls of residency for the University of St Andrews, strengthening our connections with the University and its students to whom we provide an annual bursary for the Museums Studies masters course.

Celebration at 90, 2002, Screenprint, edition of 70

British Art Fair Preview

This September the Trust have been invited to exhibit at the British Art Fair. Positioned at the centre of the fair, we will be showing a selection of Barns-Graham’s lively screenprints, a display of Glacier-themed works, including for the first time Dovecot Studio’s Glacier Ice Face tapestry, and a group of works by six contemporary artists who participated in the Cornwall x Scotland residency exchange, supported by the Trust.

The fair will take place 26-29 September at the Saatchi Gallery, with early bird tickets now available from their website.

Our Latest Blogs

The Barns-Graham Family’s early years at 11 Abbotsford Crescent

To coincide with the unveiling of the plaque to mark Barns-Graham’s birthplace in St Andrews, we’ve unearthed some archive materials about her early life there with her family.

Robert Wagner – ‘One of the Sweetest of God’s Children’

For the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy this year, we are highlighting a lesser-known story from Barns-Graham’s life of her American soldier boyfriend who crossed the channel that day.

Adaptation, innovation and collaboration: examining the studio materials of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham

Following a student placement with us, James Wright shares some of his research into Barns-Graham’s studio materials and related ephemera, reflecting on what they tells us about her artistic practice.

Red Table 1952 BGT888

Red Table, 1952, Gouache on hardboard, BGT888

Where to See Willie

Through loans, gifts and permanent collections at partner museums, there are lots of opportunities to see Barns-Graham works across the country this summer.

Works from our collection are on loan to both The Shape of Things: Still Life in Britain at Pallant House Gallery (until 20 Oct) and Scottish Women Artists at F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio in Banbridge (until 2 Sep).

Coming soon, Gallery East will hold their second exhibition of Barns-Graham’s screenprints in their Woodbridge gallery. Dancing into the Light II features a new selection and opens on 19 September.

Works can usually be found on display in galleries such as the City Art Centre, Edinburgh, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Leeds Art Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate St Ives, Penwith Gallery, St Ives and Pier Arts Centre, Stromness.