About the work
This screenprint by Scottish artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, 'Walkabout Time', is from ‘Time Series’, a number of related works that Barns-Graham produced over a few years, late in her career between 1999–2000. In each print, Barns-Graham used a large circle and varying numbers of vertical bars in different arrangements and colour combinations. The titles of the works in this series (which also includes 'Another Time', 'Just in Time' and 'Quiet Time', also in the Government Art Collection) are as playful as the arrangements of shapes and colours. Barns-Graham was particularly known for her expressive use of colour.
In 'Walkabout Time', the bruised purple background is an effective contrast to the slivers of orange, green and blue. The rich intensity of the colour schemes of purple, green and brown in this series of works call to mind the hues of Barns-Graham’s native Scottish landscape, where the artist spent her winters after inheriting a house near St Andrews in 1960.
Barns-Graham’s early paintings were entirely figurative, however, during her long career she gradually became more abstract in style and these prints are characteristic of her work since the 1970s. She was concerned with formal explorations of geometric shapes, especially circles, on rectangular canvases. She preferred to add titles to her works after they were completed, which she felt closely reflected her feelings during the making of a work, and did not restrict her to a particular idea before starting.
About the artist
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham was born in Fife, in Scotland, and studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1932 to 1936. In 1940, she moved to St Ives where she met the artists Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Peter Lanyon. From the 1960s onwards she divided her time between her home in St Ives and a small estate in St Andrews, inherited from an aunt. She exhibited consistently from the 1940s and was included in surveys of the St Ives School, in particular the 1945 exhibition St Ives 1939-64 at the Tate in London. In 1999 she was elected an honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy and was awarded a CBE in 2001. In that year a major monograph went some way to assert Barns-Graham’s rightful position as a significant British artist.
- Walkabout Time
- Series Title
- Time Series
- height: 58.50 cm, width: 77.00 cm
- Purchased from Art First, March 2001
- BL: 44/50 BR: W Barns Graham 1999
- Art First
- GAC number