Joan Eardley Centenary – Writers Celebrate her work

all becomes art
Writers celebrate the work of Joan Eardley in this special event to mark her centenary and launch a new call for work for an anthology.

18 May, 2021 at 7.30 p.m. until 8.30 p.m.

Online – Free – Register at Eventbrite

About this Event

All becomes art, and as if she was incensed

By the painter’s brush the sea growls up

In a white flood.” – Edwin Morgan, ‘Flood Tide’

This event will feature readings from poets and writers responding to and celebrating the work of Joan Eardley (lineup to be announced shortly.)

An artist of intensity and deep formal sensitivity, the work of Joan Eardley (1921-1963) resonates with themes of social conscience, ecological awareness, materiality of paint, compulsion and the everyday. As Edwin Morgan’s poem ‘Flood Tide’ suggests, Eardley’s work is full of tension, full of passion, evocative of elemental, aesthetic and emotional turbulence and attunement to social inequalities.

jan patience image edwin morgan

(Copyright Jan Patience and Flood Tide: Courtesy Estate of Joan Eardley.)

Her handling of paint is deeply textural and gestural: her brushstrokes throb, bristle, refuse, explode, vibrate and adhere. In a work such as ‘Children and Chalked Wall II’, the texture of the paint itself is somewhere between chalky and gluey, giving the impression of contingency, potential and a moment stuck in time. The children in the foreground-left emerge as if forged from the dream-like entanglements and collaged fragments of the scribbled graffiti behind them. In ‘Boy in a Red Jumper’, a pastel, the vibrancy of the colour in the pink of the boy’s cheeks is hyper-saturated, a rainbow glow that feels impossibly vivid. Likewise in ‘Catterline in Winter’ (1963), an apparent stillness in the matt grey sky is offset by the gentle incline of the dwellings which feel like they’re practically falling into one another against the craggy fencing and scrub. Whether its attention is rural or urban, Eardley’s work is an acknowledgement and affirmation of life, however fraught.

Call For New Writing

This event is also the launch of a call for new writing in response to Joan Eardley’s work, which will be launched in 2021.

Submissions of writing in any form are welcomed (e.g. poetry, hybrid, experimental, fiction, art writing, criticism, memoir). Where appropriate, you are encouraged to identify which painting or aspect of Eardley’s work you are responding to in an email accompanying the submission. Individual submissions should be less than 7000 words.

Deadline: The deadline for work is 28th June 2021.

Eardley’s work can be seen in many collections, including:

National Galleries of Scotland

Hunterian Art Gallery

The Tate

Kelvingrove Gallery

The Lillie Gallery

The anthology is edited by Colin Herd and Sam Small will be published in 2021. Submissions will be accepted to [email protected]

Register for event on 18 May at Eventbrite

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Written by :

Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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