Exhibiting Artists: Frances Robertson

Frances Robertson
‘Imposter’, 2020; Charcoal on paper
Photo: Jack McCombe

Frances Robertson’s landscape observations to date have been carried out in both words and images—in parallel investigations of the interactions between landscape representation, notions of national and regional identity and the cultural politics of design and landscape shaping in Scotland, such as ‘Power in the landscape: Regenerating the Scottish Highlands after the Second World War’ (in: The Culture of Nature in the History of Design, Routledge, London, 2019). She has also been involved in organising and presenting in the Through a Northern Lens, series of annual symposiums (Bird, Robertson, and Brownrigg), looking at different aspects of landscape (An Auto-Ethnographic Turn’ (2018); ‘Place, Image, Archaeology and Heritage’ (2017); and ‘Women, Picture and Place’ (2016). Here in the exhibition Robertson investigates landscape through a long-durational observational drawing of a tree body, acknowledging the structural and intellectual knowledge fostered in Western traditions of drawing. This new work in Practicing Landscape: Land, Histories and Transformation depicts a foreign introduction brought here by Victorian imperial plant hunters, the monkey-puzzling araucaria, indeed a particular specimen standing over the ancient Egyptian-style tomb of one of Glasgow’s more successful merchants. This work is the latest in a series of drawings that Robertson has been making since 2005. 

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