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Joyce Gunn-Cairns MBE
Joyce Gunn-Cairns MBE "My Sundays and afternoons working in my studio and listening to Radio 4 are sacrosanct."

My work is figurative and intuitive, and I find that listening to Radio 4 gives me the specific stimulation I need. I recently sold a painting which was inspired by a programme on Radio 4 on the life of the Russian poet Akhmatova.

I am passionate about books, and had an exhibition last spring of my drawings of the writer and academic Professor David Daiches (co-founder of Sussex University). I had an exhibition in the Writers Museum here in Edinburgh in the spring of 2005, three works currently on exhibit in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (of two writers: Richard Holloway and Tessa Ransford, and the Scottish Cardinal), and a touring exhibition called Daughters of Eve (opening in Edinburgh on 7 October 2005 and a parallel exhibition in Paris on 16 October) which comprises around 30 images of women and examines women's relationship to their body, to issues of health and maternity.
ListenListen to Joyce Gunn-Cairns (1 minute)
My work has a strong personal dimension. Using mostly rag dolls and my own body for stimulus, I am seeking to integrate in my painting and drawing the memories and media messages which have informed and continue to inform my understanding of myself as a woman and as a sexual being.

There is also a political dimension in my work to the extent that it challenges the forces - political, religious, sexual - which exact a conformism to a value system that ultimately crushes each person's right to, and ability to, speak with his/her unique voice, and define his/her physical and metaphysical shape.

My work also has a religious dimension, both traditional and unorthodox; traditional in my regard for the man Christ, and for the workings of angels, and unorthodox in my understanding of Christ, and the angels, as beings beyond sexual differentiation. This latter understanding informs the emergence of an androgynous quality in some of the nude paintings and drawings.

A second strand in my artistic oeuvre is portrait drawing. I like to draw a person regularly and over an indefinite period. I drew the poet Tom Scott, who died in 1995, regularly over a period of ten years. Most of the people I draw are friends, some of whom are also writers, including David Daiches, Joy Hendry, Richard Holloway, A L Kennedy and Michael Lister.
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Artists exhibited at Bankside
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Quotes, biographies & audio
Norman Ackroyd
Raymond Briggs
Katie Clemson
Kaffe Fassett
Joyce Gunn-Cairns
Ben Johnson
Anita Klein
Zandra Rhodes
The Artist and Radio 4:
Bankside Gallery
3-27 November 2005
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