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Art Collections

Gracefield Collection

Girl and Boy with Message Bag

Period:
20th Century
Description:

Born Warnham, Sussex, of Anglo-Scottish parents, Eardley began her art studies at Goldsmith’s College but on her father’s death her family returned to their mothers home near Glasgow and the young artists then attended the Glasgow School of Art (1940-3).

 

In 1947 she spent some months at the residential art school at Hospitalfield, near Arbroath under James Cowie, returning to GSA in 1943 to take up post-Diploma scholarship. In 1948-9 she travelled in Italy and France and the resulting sketches and paintings were exhibited at her first one-man show at GSA in 1949.

 

During the early 1950s Eardley devoted much time to the depressed areas of Glasgow, making sketches and photographs, which were worked up into larger oils. Some of her most haunting and perceptive portraits of Glasgow’s poor children date to this period. She had made friends with Audrey Walker during her College days in Glasgow and throughout her life stayed in close contact often visiting her friend at her farm in Ettrickdale on the border between Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders. These visits offered the chance to study a working farm and she made numerous sketches of events in the farming calendar such as the annual sheep shearing, which Lady Walker later bequeathed to the Gracefield Permanent Collection.

 

In 1950 she began to paint at Catterline, taking up semi-residence there in 1956. There she painted powerful seascapes and landscapes around the Aberdeenshire coastline, with expressive brushwork and thick paint conveying the force of the sea and wind. She was still making regular trips back to Glasgow to portrait her beloved street children, but by 1960 an undiagnosed Cancer had begun to severely affect her health although she persisted with her painting in Catterline she was less able to travel.

 

Her work had been widely exhibited and was gaining strong critical acclaim with her nomination to the RSA in 1955 and solo exhibition in Edinburgh and London. She died at Killearn Hospital, with her mother, sister and Audrey by her side.

Materials/Media:
Ink on paper
Dimensions:
16" x 14"
Source:
Gracefield Arts Centre
Accession number:
434L
Digital Number:
GCFA036n
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council