The Whitehouse Gallery, Kirkcudbright, are delighted to announce an exhibition featuring work by the late Moira & Stuart Beaty alongside their daughter Ann. The exhibition will run from 7th May and run until 25th June. All are welcome to attend the exhibition preview opening on Saturday 7th May, doors will open from 11am.
It was thirty five years ago that an exhibition of the same name took place at Henderson’s Gallery in Edinburgh, featuring ‘The Three Beatys’. Moira and Stuart have since passed away, so it is a fitting tribute to return to this family exhibition and title, this time in a town where Moira and Stuart honeymooned, and which was very dear to their hearts.
Ann Beaty has been gathering together little seen drawings and paintings of Moira’s that span her lifetime for this exhibition. For Stuart, Ann will let go a selection of wood and mixed media sculpture from the family collection. Ann’s own work is from a variety of subject matter, styles and materials, including some early works, some later and also including very recent, large paintings on silk. It is hoped that this exhibition is a worthy testament to the Beaty legacy that Stuart and Moira have left behind.
Moira Beaty was an accomplished painter who passed away in 2015 at the age of 92. Born in Prestwick and raised in Glasgow, Moira eventually won a scholarship to Glasgow School of Art. However, war intervened and Moira left at the end of the first year, to start her new job as a typist in the machine room, then eventually as a cryptographer at Bletchley Park. During this difficult time, Moira was involved in setting up art classes and exhibitions and was given her own studio to continue her painting. This period of her life was only mentioned in the 1980s, as she had signed the Official Secrets Act in 1942.
When war in Europe ended, Moira eventually returned to GSA to resume her studies. It was there that she met sculptor Stuart Beaty, and they eventually married in 1952. They moved to the Borders and eventually to Kipford in Dumfries & Galloway where they enjoyed many happy years teaching, working, exhibiting, and forging solid relationships with galleries such as the Open Eye in Edinburgh and Gracefield in Dumfries
Moira exhibited widely in both group and solo exhibitions. Following the birth of her daughter Ann, many of Moira’s paintings were of young children (very often of Ann herself), her garden flowers, the rural community and the Borders landscape. Moira just painted, in her own words, “her life”
Her final year with a triumph as she had a sell-out retrospective exhibition in the Harbour Gallery, Kirkcudbright, and was represented in the town’s major Summer Exhibition ‘Glasgow Girls 1920-60’ which she opened.
Stuart Beaty was well known for his sculpture, which ranged from works in wood to stone, showing great skill and craftsmanship. He passed away in 2004 at the age of 83.
During the war, Stuart served with the RAF on the engineering side, including two years in India and Burma where he was greatly influenced by Indian stone and wood carving. During this time, Stuart’s main preoccupation was with painting, and he exhibited work in exhibitions in India during this time. Stuart returned to Scotland and began his course at GSA where he studied modelling and carving. An interest in puppetry encouraged Stuart to help establish the Art School Marionette Theatre.
After graduating from GSA, Stuart studied knitwear design and joined Pringle of Scotland as a designer, eventually being appointed to the Board as Design Director. During this time Stuart continued to make and show sculpture.
Stuart undertook some exciting and prestigious sculpture commissions over his career, and in 1974 he retired from Pringle to the full time practice of sculpture.
Like his wife, Stuart had spent his life and career in pursuit of the creative arts, and both have left a lasting mark since passing away.
It is only fitting that both Moira and Stuart’s daughter would follow in their footsteps, attending GSA to become a painter, Ann was awarded a Post Diploma of Art in Drawing and Painting with high commendation. Following her graduation, Ann attended Jordanhill College of Education and trained to teach. She then went onto a long and rewarding career teaching Art, finally retiring after thirty five years in 2014.
Ann has enjoyed painting the local landscape and experimenting with the technique of silk painting. She has exhibited in exhibitions over the years, including Hendersons Gallery and the Open Eye in Edinburgh, as well as taking part in various SSA and RSA exhibitions.
There will also be new sculpture by Ana Duncan & Pauline Montgomery, ceramics by Rob Sutherland & Karen McPhail and jewellery by Heather Andrews.