John Bellany: A Life in Print

12th October to 9th November 2013

Edinburgh Printmakers

This Autumn Edinburgh Printmakers honours the memory of one of Scotland’s most highly acclaimed artists John Bellany (1942-2013), with a premiere exhibition celebrating his life and work in the medium of print.

This stunning collection of prints, unseen together until now, spans over four decades and gives the viewer a fascinating insight into this well loved artist’s work and inspiration drawn from his rich and often tempestuous life and the colourful coastal communities from which he came.

Edinburgh Printmakers enjoyed a long established partnership with John that spanned over 40 years. He became our most prolific collaborating artist, producing over 60 print editions over this time.

The prints in this exhibition have been commissioned and published by Edinburgh Printmakers and have been carefully selected from our archive. The majority, with the exception of one or two, being produced on-site in our studio in collaboration with Master Printer Alfons Bytautas, who had a long-standing partnership and friendship with John and contributes –

“… John Bellany, a descendant of generations of fishing folk, based much of his evocative and emotionally charged work on the experience of growing up in a small Scottish East Coast fishing community. Along the way he succeeded in creating a highly personal mythology, blending both fact and fiction and populating it with the tragic figures of fisher-folk, animals (both real and imaginary) and thinly disguised self-portraits. His work is richly allegorical and yet he convinced us to accept his dream-like world as real. Perhaps it was the absolute sincerity with which he rendered this inner vision that enables us to enter into the extraordinary world he created…”

John Sadly passed away in August of this year with a paintbrush in his hand and at his funeral his son, Paul, paid tribute to his father, saying –

“The skipper has gone, sailed on into an Eyemouth sunset, but his spirit remains and I only need to look into the eyes of the characters upon any of his vibrant canvases to know that the fire still blazes and will blaze on for many years to come.”

John Bellany CBE HRSA RA LLD (18 June 1942 – 28 August 2013) was born in Port Seton, Scotland. During the 1960s, he studied at Edinburgh College of Art and then at the Royal College of Art in London.

A giant of Scottish contemporary art, he was awarded the CBE in 1994, and has works held in major collections across Europe and America, including the National Galleries of Scotland, the Tate collection and the MOMA in New York.


Gallery Talk

John Bellany: A Life in Print

12 October, 2-3pm, Free

For this event prior booking is essential as places are limited.

To book, email or phone 0131 557 2479.

This gallery talk offers a unique insight into the prints and working artistic practice of one of Scotland’s most famous artists, the late John Bellany.

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