Wilhelmina Barns-Graham

March 1957 (Starbotton) (1957)

About this artwork

This work was painted while Barns-Graham was living in Leeds and teaching at the School of Art there. The colours are influenced by the colours she saw in the city: glimpses of brightly-coloured clothing which contrasted with the dark, wintery skies. 'Starbotton' is the name of a pot-hole she visited in Yorkshire. Like most of Barns-Graham's abstract paintings, the origins of this work are from nature and the artist's own experience. Barns-Graham had a long working life, and continued to paint until her death in 2004.

  • title: March 1957 (Starbotton)
  • accession number: GMA 2778
  • artist: Wilhelmina Barns-GrahamScottish (1912 - 2004)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Abstract
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1957
  • measurements: 63.50 x 76.50 cm
  • credit line: Purchased 1983
  • copyright: © THE BARNS-GRAHAM CHARITABLE TRUST
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham

Born in St Andrews, Barns-Graham studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1932 to 1937, where she became interested in abstract art. She moved to St Ives in Cornwall in 1940, finding among the modernist artists who had settled there (including Naum Gabo, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth) a sympathetic environment for her developing work. A visit to Switzerland in 1948 inspired a series of drawings and paintings of glaciers. Barns-Graham was captivated by the combination of their transparency and rough surfaces. From this time onwards she produced abstract compositions using geometrical forms, but with their origins in nature.