Keynote, 16 June 2022, ‘Making Imagined Objects‘, 2nd International Alasdair Gray Conference

I will be one of the keynotes, alongside author Ali Smith, at this conference which is hosted by the University of Strathclyde, the University of Glasgow, and the Alasdair Gray Archive, in partnership with the Glasgow School of Art, the University of Western Brittany, Aix-Marseille University, Edge Hill University, the University of Lausanne and the Tannahill Fund for the Furtherance of Scottish Literature. I will be speaking on Gray’ visual art, whilst Smith focuses on his literature.

This two-day interdisciplinary conference will examine the nature, value and legacy of Alasdair Gray’s artistic output, considering his literary work and his visual practice, and the relationship between the two in Gray’s oeuvre. The conference is entitled “Making imagined objects” in tribute to Gray’s own repeated and modest claim that he was a “maker of imagined objects”.

‘Spheres of Influence II’, Reid Gallery, The Glasgow School of Art (2014). Photo: Alan Dimmick


Early Eardley’, (2021), Susannah Thompson and Jenny Brownrigg, The British Art Journal, XXII (4). ISSN 1467-2006

The career of the painter Joan Eardley (1921 – 1963) is regarded as being comprised of three distinct phases, reaching maturity in her distinctive paintings of children in Townhead, Glasgow, between 1950-57, and, from the late 1950s until her death in 1963, the land and seascapes of Catterline which constitute her ‘late style’. In contrast to the art historical preoccupation with the latter two phases, this essay focuses on Eardley’s early works of the 1940’s to ask how the artist’s formative period at Glasgow School of Art and her postgraduate study at Hospitalfield, Arbroath, informed the direction and development of her later work.