Kate Downie RSA

Live from the Academician’s Studio

Kate Downie on Joan Eardley


This first studio encounter of 2022 brings together two renowned Scottish-based artists, Joan Eardley (1921–63), whose centenary is being celebrated in 2021–22, and painter and printmaker Kate Downie (b. 1958), who has long acknowledged Eardley’s creative influence. In her work, Kate has tackled similar themes to Eardley – child portraiture, the urban landscape, coastal terrain – and there is a sense of connection, an understanding in her artistic practice.


Drawn to the possibilities left open by Eardley’s Two Children (1962-63), found incomplete on the artist’s easel at her death, Kate is creating a new artwork in which she proposes to ‘finish’ the painting. Making studies of local children, she attempts to get inside Eardley’s head, responding to and reimagining the composition with its graffiti, found objects and unfinished figures.


Chaired by Annie Cattrell RSA, this unique ‘Live Session’ takes you into Kate Downie’s studio as she generously documents her journey, sharing her insights and discoveries as she looks, thinks, draws and paints to better understand Eardley and this her final ambitious canvas.


This project has been carried out with full permission of the Eardley estate and Glasgow Museums.