Title: Meditative
Size: 83cm x 114cm framed
Medium: Oil & Pencil on Board

Price: £1500

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About the Artist


Joyce Gunn Cairns graduated from Edinburgh College Art having previously studied German & Comparative Religion at Aberdeen University. She has several works held in the collections of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and City Arts Centre, Edinburgh as well as many other major institutions throughout the UK

Artist’s Statement

Now that I have had my three score years and ten, I am really no closer to defining the nature of Artist than I was when I first put pencil to paper, paint to board, other than to say that it is a restlessness, a drivenness, a singlemindedness that takes no account of traditional working weeks and is selfish in its demands of discipline and financial uncertainty.

I have enjoyed a fair degree of encouragement and approbation over the last four decades - prizes, reviews - (www.joycegunncairnsartist.co.uk) - and I am regularly invited to exhibit (six exhibitions pending in 2019), but I agree with Julian Barnes that an artist/writer enjoys no accumulative sense of accomplishment. This fact leaves us raw, always striving for something elusive, often plagued by self-doubt.

Joyce will also be exhibiting with Alasdair Gray at the Union Gallery in April this year as well as an exhibition of the heads of Poets at the Scottish Poetry Library.

Selected Exhibitions

2016  Joint exhibition with Alasdair Gray - Sutton Gallery, Edinburgh

2015  Solo exhibition, Sutton Gallery, Edinburgh

2014  Prizewinning Exhibition, Scottish Arts Club

2013  Society of Scottish Artists, RSA - Scottish Arts Club Prize

With Alasdair Gray and Steven Camley, The Smithy Gallery, Blanefield

2012   Alasdair Gray /Joyce Gunn Cairns at The Smithy Gallery, Blanefield.  See reviews.

2011   "Heroines".  New Hall College, Cambridge March-April

2010   Skin Deep, Royal College of Surgeons

2009   Brussels/Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Exhibition of Scottish Poets in  Scotland House, Brussels.

The Henderson Gallery, Edinburgh. Exhibition of 38 heads of eminent Scots. Launched by Sally Magnusson. “Unspoken Lines”. Reviewed by Tim Cornwell in The Scotsman (Quick on the Draw, 9 July 2009)

City Art Centre, Edinburgh. Visual Arts Scotland. (My painting singled out by Duncan MacMillan in The Scotsman).

Edinburgh Printmakers Workshop , Exhibition of prints.  “Bodily Traces” (“Joyce Gunn Cairns ….. has taken to screenprinting like a natural….” Duncan MacMillan, The Scotsman)

2008   Munich/Landratsamt. Collaboration between WASPS and Munich artists.  Reviewed in Muenchner Zeitung. Gunn Cairns Zeichnungen beruehren den Betrachter unmittelbar. Jeder ihrer Striche wirkt so lebendig und vital, als pulsiere er....“

Aberdeen Word Festival. Exhibition of heads of writers, including Edwin Morgan and A L Kennedy, in Word Café, Aberdeen University.

2007   Scottish National Portrait Gallery, The Naked Portrait. Mentioned in The Guardian by Germaine Greere.

2006  Jerwood Exhibition of Prizewinners, Drawing Breath. Toured in Wimbledon Art College, London, Sydney, Bristol and Aberdeen.

2005   Writers Museum, Edinburgh. A Writer’s Dozen.  Five heads purchased by City of Edinburgh Council.

BankSide Gallery, London. Artists chosen from lovers of Radio 4.

2003/4          Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Modern Women (drawing of the poets Tessa Ransford and Joy Hendry)

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Keeping Faith. Drawings of Richard Holloway and Cardinal Keith O’Brien.

Daughters of Eve, toured from Inverness Castle to Thurso, to Edinburgh, and finally to the International University in Paris. Curated by Highland Arts , supported by the SNPG. In Edinburgh accompanied by events chaired by Richard Holloway and Bridget McConnell.

Talbot Rice Gallery, Drawing David Daiches. Thirteen drawings of David Daiches. Curated by Duncan MacMillan,  and accompanied by a catalogue; introduction to catalogue by Duncan MacMillan, Writer and Critic, edited by Michael Lister, Writer and Reviewer.

2001 Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Narcissus. Three paintings. Reviewed five times, including a two-page spread in The Herald by Ann Donald.

1996 to date

Annual inclusion in exhibitions in the Royal Scottish Academy (SSA, VAS, RSW and RSA)

Annual exhibitions in WASPS Gallery, Patriothall, Edinburgh.  Solo and joint.