Joan Eardley Centenary – Writers Celebrate her work
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.
(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 Lillie Gallery
The anthology is edited by Colin Herd and Sam Small will be published in 2021. Submissions will be accepted to EardleyCentenaryCollection@gmail.com
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