Frances Walker has a 46-year association with Peacock. Her hand first turned the lock that opened the door for everyone in the Summer of 1974. Peacock was formed to empower the artist. Our open access model placed the artist printmaker at its centre. 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 embraced all of this. The Finnish Suite (1978) presented the first published edition for exhibition with an individual artist. Finland, deftly described through etching, screenprint and lithography, underscored Frances’s precision in drawing and natural ability to capture the atmospheric presence of place through her intimate recordings.
This dedication to place, absorption and observation is central to understanding Frances’s vision as an artist. Her unshakeable loyalty, friendship, tutelage and endurance is a metre that set a score. Frances returned a narrative that encouraged Peacock to find a voice.
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 our history, producing a significant body of work, held in our city’s archive for all present and future generations to engage with and enjoy. This prodigious journey has helped to describe our culture through the language of print.
For Peacock this rich association has shaped and refined our publishing model. Establishing a circular economy that sees all income realised from print sales reinvested – to continue making and showing art with all artists. This insightful model remains closest to our roots – promoting the economy of all aspects of printmaking and cultivating artistic practise, that in turn supports our emerging artists.
We have grown up together. In acknowledgement we have a yearlong programme of events planned, including new editions, talks, demonstrations and an exhibition in 2021. We are honoured Frances has accepted the dedication of naming our main printmaking workspace. We recognise Frances in the knowledge her art will inform and inspire future generations to the value of an inclusive studio – a place that nurtures the unique voice of the individual through the teaching of printmaking. All under this one roof, here in Aberdeen. We entitle the space that has enabled so much of our mission – The Frances Walker Studio.
Frances Walker RSA, RSW, D.Litt, Hon FECA is an artist who has lived and worked in Aberdeen for 62 years. Born in Kirkcaldy in 1930 Frances Walker studied at Edinburgh College of Art and after attending Moray House College of Education was sole teacher of art for all schools in Harris and North Uist, Western isles 1956-1958 then lecturer in drawing and painting at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen 1958-1985.
In 1974 Frances was one of the founding members of Peacock, known then as Peacock Printmakers. This ongoing relationship has spanned the 46 years until now, resulting in an immensely important body of prints. Her experience of teaching art in the Hebrides led to a lifelong love of wild and desolate places. Since then, she has chosen to depict the most remote landscapes and her compositions are often based on coastal reaches, craggy rocks and deserted beaches.
Frances Walker, Antarctic Landscape, 2020
14.8 x 42 cm, Lambeth Drawing Cartridge 250 gsm
Screenprint, edition of 50, £90
Peacock are delighted to present a new screenprint ‘Antarctic Landscape’ by Frances Walker. Printed in a limited edition of 50 these will be priced at £90 and available for purchase on the day of Frances Walker’s 90th birthday the 19th August.
‘Antarctic Landscape’ is an image that has evolved from the card that Frances makes every year and sends with seasonal greetings to her many far scattered friends who live from Scotland to Slovenia, from Canada to the Falkland Islands. This new print has an additional colour and is signed and titled by the artist on the reverse alongside the Peacock stamp.
This print is made collaboratively with Frances Walker. Frances has gifted the edition to Peacock. All income raised is reinvested directly into the making and presentation of art.
Main photo credit: Frances Walker in Orkney (photo by John Cumming), 1981