Barns-Graham: Decade by Decade

Decade by Decade is a series of short films of personal responses to artworks by 20th century Scottish and St Ives Artist, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (1912-2004) from each decade of her artistic production.

2000s | Ann Gunn on Earth Series III, 2002

Ann Gunn, is Honorary Senior Lecturer at St Andrews University having recently retired as Director of Museum and Gallery Studies. In 2007 she published the definitive Prints of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, a complete catalogue. Her most recent publication is The Prints of Paul Sandby (1731-1809): A Catalogue Raisonné (2015). Ann has chosen to talk about the Barns-Graham screenprint Earth Series III from 2002.

1990s | Guy Peploe on Untitled [Black Sun], 1997

Guy Peploe is Director at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh, grandson of the Scottish Colourist S.J. Peploe, his father Denis was also an accomplished artist, and a close-friend of Barns-Graham when they studied together at Edinburgh College of Art in the 1930s. He worked closely with Barns-Graham on a number of exhibitions at the Scottish Gallery in the last decade of her life, he has chosen a Barns-Graham painting Untitled [Black Sun], 1997.

1980s | Helen Scott on Two Island Series No. 2 (Orkney), 1987

Dr Helen Scott is Curator of Fine Art at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh. She has a close association with the work of Barns-Graham having previously worked as Manager of the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust when it was based at the artist’s former home of Balmungo, near St Andrews. She is author of the monographs ‘Edwin G. Lucas: An Individual Eye’ (2018) and ‘Mary Cameron: Life in Paint’ (2019) and has chosen to talk about Two Island Series No. 2, 1987.

1970s | Rob Airey on Warm Up, Cool Down, 1979

Rob Airey is the Director of the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust. His career taken him from the Government Art Collection to the Tate, Henry Moore Foundation, Public Catalogue Foundation, Royal Cornwall Museum and finally Newcastle University’s Hatton Gallery, before being appointed to the Trust in 2017. Rob has chosen to talk about Barns-Graham’s 1979 painting Warm Up, Cool Down.

1950s | Siobhan McLaughlin on Study for Large Shelf I, 1951

Siobhan McLaughlin (b.1994), graduated in 2019 with First Class MA (Hons) in Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art. Based in Glasgow in December 2019, she was the first recipient of the Society of Scottish Artists’ Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Award, for her work Untitled (Lochnagar III), presented at the VAS/SSA exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy of Arts. She is the curator of an anniversary exhibition of Alan Davie’s work ‘Beginning of a far-off World’ to be held at Dovecot Studios from 22 January to 6 March 2021 (currently postponed). Siobhan has chosen Study for Large Shelf I, 1951.

1940s | Alice Strang on Studio Interior (Red Stool), 1945

Alice Strang is a Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Galleries of Scotland. She curated the landmark exhibition Modern Scottish Women: Painters and Sculptors 1885-1965, which was held at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. She read History of Art at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge before joining Christie’s, where she worked as a Specialist in the Impressionist and Modern, Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Art departments. She joined the National Galleries of Scotland in 1999 and is a curator of the nation’s collection of Western art from c.1890 to the present day. Alice has selected Studio Interior (Red Stool), 1945.

1930s | Rebecca Birrell on Edinburgh Interior, 1937

Rebecca Birrell studied English Literature at UCL, then Women’s Studies at The University of Oxford. She has undertaken curatorial posts at the Jewish Museum London, the Department of Prints and Drawing at the British Museum and the Charleston Trust. She is currently completing her PhD at Edinburgh College of Art and working on the photographic archive at the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust. Her first non-fiction book, This Dark Country, a blend of collective biography and art criticism which looks at 20th Century women artists, intimacy and still-life, will be published by Bloomsbury in August 2021. Rebecca has selected Edinburgh Interior from 1937.