Online Symposium: The Isle of Arran – An Artistic Legacy, 29th April, 2021
The Arran Arts Heritage Trail, in partnership with Paisley Museum and the School of
Culture and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow, will be hosting an online
symposium on 29th April 2021 celebrating and exploring the Isle of Arran’s rich and
varied visual story. The symposium will mark the launch of the Arran Arts Heritage Trail and website, and will be opened by journalist and broadcaster Kirsty Wark, who has had a lifelong connection with, and love of, Arran.
Since the 19th century Arran has been frequented by many notable artists, all drawn
to its mountainous landscapes, picturesque glens and pleasant coastal villages;
known by the Victorians as ‘Scotland in miniature’.
Within easy reach from Glasgow, painters such as Horatio McCulloch, John Knox
and Waller Hugh Paton would depict the grandeur of the natural environment. They
in turn would be followed by William Dyce and his spiritual work, and the island’s
seascapes would be extensively depicted by William McTaggart. The 20 th century
would bring the post-impressionistic work of the Scottish Colourists such as Samuel
Peploe as well as that of John Maclauchlan Milne the so called ‘fifth colourist’, who
himself would settle on the island in the 1940s.
Other visitors would include DY Cameron who returned to Arran many times over in
his career, and the artists Jessie M King and EA Taylor who established their
Summer School in Corrie in 1914, which ran for some two decades. This summer
school placed Arran in the middle of Scottish artistic developments, bringing many
of the Glasgow Girls and others such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Hannah
Frank to the island. It was also in Corrie that a young Joan Eardley would paint
alongside Margot Sandeman in the cottage/studio known as ‘The Tabernacle’.
In the post war years Arran continued to attract many artists, among them Mary
Armour, Alasdair Gray and Agnes Miller Parker, the latter who would settle on the
island for the last few decades of her life. Celebrated contemporary artists such as
Hamish Fulton, Bruce Mclean and Duncan Shanks would also create new and
exploratory works on Arran, and in 2018 scenes from Machrie Moor would appear in
the Turner Prize winning film BRIDGIT by Charlotte Prodger.
This symposium seeks to explore the work and approaches of the many visual and
applied artists who have made work on the Isle of Arran, and will bring together
academics, independent researchers, curators, archivists and artists to focus on the
important legacy the island has left us today.
Topics include (but are not limited to):
• The work of Joan Eardley, The Glasgow Girls, Agnes Miller Parker and other
women who have made work on Arran.
• The development of Scottish landscape painting on the island from John Knox
to Duncan Shanks.
• Arran as a tourist destination for Scottish artists.
• The work of the Scottish Colourists on Arran, especially that of John
Maclauchlan Milne, the ‘Fifth Colourist’
• The Corrie summer school run by Jessie M King and E A Taylor and their
• Artistic responses to Arran’s cultural heritage.
• The work of artists who lived on Arran, such as enamelist Ann Robin Banks and
painter Margot Sandeman.
• Printmaking on Arran from Francis Grose and William Daniell to DY
Cameron and Norman Ackroyd.
• The work of photographers from James Valentine and George Washington
Wilson to WA Poucher.
• Contemporary artistic responses to the art, landscape and culture of Arran
such as those by Duncan Shanks, Charlotte Prodger and Bruce Maclean.
We welcome proposals for 15-minute presentations for the symposium. Speakers will
be expected to provide a PowerPoint presentation, with images, to accompany their
presentation. Proposals should be in the form of 300 word abstracts. The
deadline for proposals is 12pm Friday 12th March.
If you would like to discuss the CFP in greater detail or submit an
abstract, please contact John McDougall at firstname.lastname@example.org
NB. We will accept pre-recorded papers for those who are unable to attend live on
the 29th April and will ask all successful contributors to pre-record a version in case
of technical difficulties on the day. A selection of papers will be published on the
Arran Arts Heritage Trail website.