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Frances Walker at 90

Published: 19 Aug 2020

Frances Walker in Orkney in 1983

Frances Walker in Orkney 1983. Photo by John Cumming

Today marks the 90th birthday of artist Frances Walker, and in celebration Peacock Visual Arts have planned a year-long programme of events, including new editions, talks, demonstrations and an exhibition in 2021.

Born in Kirkcaldy in 1930, Frances studied at Edinburgh College of Art, and then attended Moray House College of Education. She was sole teacher of art for all schools in Harris and North Uist, Western isles from 1956-1958, before becoming a lecturer in drawing and painting at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen from 1958-1985.

Frances Walker has a 46-year association with Peacock Visual Arts. Her hand first turned the lock that opened the door for everyone in the Summer of 1974. The studio set out to train an artistic community to become independent in the making of prints, leading to self and co-published editions and new economic opportunities.

Frances Walker working on a rock pool plate

Frances Walker working with an etching tool on prepared steel plate, Orkney, 1981. Photo by John Cumming

In this her 90th year, Frances continues to inspire and lead. Frances, who has continued to live and work in Aberdeen, is the one constant in Peacock's history, producing a significant body of work, held in the city’s archive for all present and future generations to engage with and enjoy.

In acknowledgement of France's huge contribution to Peacock, they have planned a programme of events taking place from August 2020 to August 2021. Frances has also accepted the dedication of naming Peacock's main printmaking workspace, a place that nurtures the unique voice of the individual through the teaching of printmaking – The Frances Walker Studio.

Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts at Creative Scotland, said:

"Creative Scotland is delighted to be sending very special birthday wishes to Frances Walker, an exceptional painter and printmaker and one of Scotland’s most highly regarded artists. As well as continuing to make her own work, Frances continues to be generous in support of her colleagues and peers and her passion for passing on the skills of printmaking to future generations is undiminished. We’re delighted to see her remarkable contribution to the arts being marked by the naming of the print studio at Peacock Visual Arts in her honour. It’s a most fitting tribute to a woman who has been such an inspiring teacher and friend to so many of our finest artists; a woman whose work takes us to new places and expands our horizons; and a woman who continues to be a pioneer of printmaking in Scotland and beyond."

Frances Walker signing ‘On The Way To Cruden Bay’, 2016

Frances Walker signing ‘On The Way To Cruden Bay’, 2016. Photo by David McCracken

More information about the year-long programme of events can be found on the Peacock Visual Arts website.