I’m so so proud of this series of work.
The idea came to me when I was loading the car from my last solo show with Torrance gallery, 14 months ago, (Possibly the reason I ripped one of the last big pieces I was loading in to the car, I was too busy thinking about the next show..) .
I wanted to do a show that wasn’t just about North Berwick, where I spend my daily life, mostly on the beach, but about all the places in that 60 miles stretch from Edinburgh to Berwick that mean something to me, that I have had memories stretching through out my life..
Belhaven, where I was born, or Whitesands, a ‘big treat’ day out when we were little, three miles away
Teenage memories (Scremerston, giggling on the beach and watching the sunrise at 3 am after a big night out)
Early adulthood – Gullane beach with a bunch of college pals, then much later walks with my babies, and my puppy.
Cramond when I first moved to Edinburgh to be with my then to be husband.
Longniddry bents, where we would always stop when the baby was sleeping in the car on the way back from Edinburgh, just to take a moment and be.
Lots and lots of North Berwick, of course, but also lots from the other end of town where I was staying for a month or so in the run up to this show while my house was being renovated ( huge thanks to my big brother for lending me his beautiful holiday home!)
Every place painted has meaning, and memory – I’m not a painter that can just go do St Andrews beach for someone, for example, because it has no meaning for me. I need that connection to place.
It's been a challenge – I do love to paint at those liminal times of day, sunrises, sunsets, changing light, and many of the places I wanted to paint were quite a drive. There’s been a lot of 5 am Sunday morning car journeys to get somewhere like Coldingham, because I remember going there as a disenchanted teenager who’d been uprooted to the Borders from the sea I loved and this was the closest beach.
Or Pease bay, which was the highlight of our school trip in primary 5 – we talked about nothing else for months! (Unfortunately it also co-incided with our first lessons in sex ed so the most important thing was if you were going to have a girlfriend or boyfriend for the trip. Aged 9.)
It's been a trip. It’s been a slow build up of work, interspersed with other things, so the overall style might be a little less cohesive.. but it’s a snapshot of 50 years of life spent on and off, in and around this coastline. The places we scattered my dad’s ashes, the places I contemplated suicide as a bipolar 30 year old, the places I spent joy with my children, the places I wild camped with friends. Every painting is a little piece of me. That possibly sounds slightly creepy but I think it’s a thing artists do.
Anyway. These are my places. I could write more and more and more about each and every place and each and every painting but I hae a newsletter to get out,I'm a last minute lady. There should be more paintings in here.. always,always places are missed and I’m sad I didn’t get anything of Berwick or Eyemouth ( I lie, never liked Eyemouth, but I did love Berwick). But a life lived amongst such beautiful places is not a bad life, as I feel I am constantly reminding my children.
Show runs from 4th - 25th March at The Torrance Gallery, Edinburgh. Please let me know if anything you see sparks a memory for you.