This year is the centenary of Joan Eardley’s birth and there are a number of exhibitions being held to celebrate that fact.
Joan Eardley was painting in Glasgow in the late fifties and early sixties at the same time as Herbert Whone. In his book Glasgow in Transition, there is a photograph of the two of them at one of the exhibitions in the McLellan galleries in Glasgow.
Reading more about Joan Eardley online recently and thinking of the various exhibitions planned to celebrate her life, I read Edwin Morgan’s poem about one of Joan Eardley’s paintings that he owned. (This was on the Association for Scottish Literary Studies Facebook page.)
Reading that poem made me decide to do some more work on a poem I had written recently
There were always a few
stacked against the wall
in your attic studio
ready for the next exhibition.
Your Yorkshire landscapes
taught me how to see
beauty in old gates,
neglected farm buildings,
carts abandoned in corners,
mill chimneys beside canals;
scenes of a work landscape
no thatched prettiness .
You’d moved back to your roots
after a time in Glasgow
influenced by Eardley so
Glasgow trams, tenements
were superceded by Yorkshire
gritstone. I remember
heady scents of paint and turps
as I entered your studio
a room filled not just with easel,
paintings , piano and fiddle
but fossils, curios collected
over years to inspire, as you did.
You nurtured deepening thoughts,
philosophical search and now
you live on, not only in your art and books
but in many memories and hearts.
i.m. Herbert (Bert) Whone – 1925 – 2011
musician, artist, writer and friend
Glasgow tram (photo of a card)
Colne Valley near Slaithwaite (photo of our original oil painting bought 1967)