EDINBURGH.- The Royal Scottish Academy
presents an exhibition of paintings and prints by Frances Walker RSA. Awarded a CBE in the Queens Birthday Honours for Services to Scottish art in 2020, Walker is one of the most celebrated artists currently working in Scotland.
Based in Aberdeen, Walker has travelled extensively throughout her career and the exhibition includes works inspired by the Western Isles, Orkney, Iceland, Finland, Slovenia, South Georgia and Antarctica. Several significant, large-scale works such as Crossing to Finlaggan (2001) and Glacial Lagoon (2001) will be on view as well as important early pieces from her years after graduating from Edinburgh College of Art. Other exhibition highlights include her artists book, Crossing to Finlaggan (2003), and rare etchings from the Finnish Suite and her South Georgia series.
Walker has had a long association with the Royal Scottish Academy, beginning with her award of the RSA Carnegie Travelling Scholarship in 1953. She was elected an Associate Member in 1970 and became a full Academician in 1983. Her RSA Diploma Deposit, Foreshore at Footdee (1980-3), will be on view, as well as Atlantic Watch, a large painted screen presented as a gift to the Academy by the artist.
Walkers paintings and prints are held in numerous major public and corporate collections including Aberdeen Art Gallery; the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; the Fleming Collection, London; Royal Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh; the Maritime Museum, Irvine; Kirkcaldy Art Gallery; and the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh.
Director, Colin Greenslade, says: It is a great pleasure and honour for the Academy to present these paintings and prints from across Frances career. We have been there with her since that early Carnegie Award and throughout her journey since. Now, as Frances approaches her 92nd year, we dont intend this exhibition to be a retrospective, and indeed we couldnt possibly do her career any justice in this modest scale. However, the selection hopes to take a glimpse at works where travel and the support of funding (and time) have enabled new research to flourish as part of a lengthy continuum of practice.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue and most works are available for sale.
Born in Kirkcaldy in 1930, Frances Walker studied at Edinburgh College of Art, gaining a Diploma in Drawing and Painting in 1952, followed by a Summer Bursary at Hospitalfield, Arbroath, returning to ECA for a postgraduate year. In 1953 Walker won an Andrew Grant Travelling Scholarship from ECA and the Royal Scottish Academy Carnegie Travelling Scholarship, allowing her to travel to several European countries including Greece and Iceland. On returning to Scotland Walker trained to be a teacher at Moray House College and took up a position as sole Teacher of Art for all schools in Harris and North Uist in the Western Isles. She would return to the mainland in 1958 to become a Lecturer in Drawing and Painting at Grays School of Art, Aberdeen, where she would teach until 1985. In 1974 Walker became a founding member of Peacock Printmakers, Aberdeen, where she served as Chair of the Board during the 1980s. Elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1970, Walker became a full Academician in 1983. In 2003 Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, awarded Walker an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters and in 2020, shortly after her 90th birthday, she was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours as Artist and Printmaker and for Services to Scottish art.