New Dame Barbera Kelly Exhibition Opens At Gracefield

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The Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries is delighted to announce the opening on Saturday 17th October of a new exhibition.

Presented in Gracefield Gallery 1 the exhibition features a selection of Dame Barbara Kelly’s own artwork alongside artists who have inspired and informed her love of art.

Barbara says of the motivation behind her show:

This exhibition is put together to celebrate eighty years of my life. It is a record of the journey I have made, reflecting on the extraordinary number of people in the art world who have passed through as friends, teachers and acquaintances from my early beginning.  Despite living in a small rural community I realise what an inspirational upbringing I had and how richly I was to be conditioned to tackle the world and to value the arts, music and literature.”

Barbara has always painted and created work in oil, watercolour, gouache with her subject matter inspired by the world around her – from gardens flowers, her local landscape or the landscapes of holiday destinations like the Isle of Harris, or France, when time away from her busy life gave her the opportunity to create her colourful studies.

Communities Committee Chairman, Councillor Andy Ferguson had an early preview of the work as it was delivered to the gallery and says:

This is a fascinating review of the artist’s work from the 1970s to the present day – clearly Barbara’s a talented artist, but the enjoyment she has got from the creative process shines through.”

Councillor John Martin, Vice Chair of Communities Committee welcomed the exhibition.  He said:

This is a fantastic exhibition and it is great to see that, even in such difficult times we are able to attract such popular and well known artists to display their work in our Council facilities.”

The selection of work from artists who have inspired her journey include well-known figures like Scottish artists Anne Redpath, Sir William Gillies and Charles Oppenheimer, but others have more direct links as friends and teachers, like Archie Sutter Watt and John Maxwell.  The works have been drawn from the Gracefield Collection, Kirkcudbright Galleries and on loan from private collections.

A full colour illustrated booklet accompanies the exhibition and a selection of Barbara’s recent work are available to buy. Pre-booking is not required for this Gallery 1 exhibition but visitor numbers in the gallery are limited and you may have to wait a few moments during busy periods.  The exhibition is open Tuesday to Saturday until 28 November.

For visits to Café Hubbub and Gallery 2, please pre-book a timed slot at or call the Midsteeple Box Office on 01387 253383

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