Frances Walker studied drawing and painting at Edinburgh College of Art (1947-1953). Armed with an Andrew Grant Travelling Scholarship and the Royal Scottish Academy Carnegie Travelling Scholarship, Frances travelled extensively in Europe. A subsequent period as sole art teacher for all schools in Harris and North Uist, Western Isles, was followed by a lectureship in drawing & painting at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen (1958), a post she held until taking early retirement in 1985 to concentrate on her own work. She still lives and works in Aberdeen, and until recently, part year on the island of Tiree. Drawing is fundamental to Frances’ work as both tool and expression: her subject, Scottish and other landscape viewed with its accretions of deep geological time and traces of human activity. Alongside this is her work as a printmaker – in particular the fine etching process. She was a founding member of Peacock Printmakers in Aberdeen which she also chaired for a number of years.
She has exhibited regularly and has works in some thirty public and museum collections including: Aberdeen Art Gallery; City Art Centre, Edinburgh; Hospitalfield Trust; Hunterian Gallery, University of Glasgow; Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery; The McManus, Dundee; National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh; National Trust for Scotland; Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen; Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh; Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine; University of St Andrews; HM The Queen.
“The diversity of these uninhabited Scottish islands is a constant wonder and delight for every island is unique and every visit, but especially the first visit, a magical adventure of discovery of the island itself combined with revelations of its former human occupants and their lives and history and of its present day flora and fauna.
This exhibition is not intended in any way as a requiem or dirge for these uninhabited islands which have formed its subject matter but rather as a celebration of them and the draw of lasting ongoing interest and fascination they continue to hold for many people – including me.”
Extract from Frances Walker – Passing Islands, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, 2003