Freda BLACKWOOD Born 1945 -
BiographyFreda Blackwood is based in Tynron, near Thornhill in Dumfries & Galloway. Born in Ayrshire, she has undertaken various ‘careers’ including theatre design (with the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow), sheep farming in Dumfriesshire, watercolour artist, sculptor and choir singer/composer. Her artworks have been shown in Edinburgh and London and have featured in many group exhibitions at Gracefield, including ‘Engender’ which featured 10 women artists including Joan Eardley.
The ‘Archie’ portrait was exhibited at the Visual Arts Scotland exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh in November 2000, ‘Face to Face’ a portraiture exhibition at Gracefield Studios in January 2003, at the Glasgow Art Fair in April 2003 and was also show as part of a celebration exhibition of the Archie’s 90th birthday at the Barons Craig Hotel Gallery, Rockcliffe in March 2005. Sadly Archie died in April 2005.
The piece is made by applying papier maché to a wire frame and then building up the layers of colour with coloured tissue paper. There is no paint attached on the surface whatsoever, and the tiny pieces of tissue paper are applied in highly time-consuming layers to achieve the final flat colour finish. The work took many months to complete. The wire-rimmed glasses are the only addition and are a redundant pair gifted by Archie Sutter Watt.
In 2000 Gracefield was delighted to stage a major retrospective of this RSW artist and the ‘Archie’ portrait ‘debuted’ in the Galleries with this exhibition. Although Archie was a regular visitor to his exhibition, visitors enjoyed an accurate representation of the artist alongside his work. Archie was very well-known locally having been a teacher and practising artist for over 60 years. His work is recognised nationally with the foreword to the retrospective catalogue written by Philip Long, Curator at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (author of books on John Maxwell and the Scottish Colourists).