Joyce Gunn Cairns, MBE
Joyce Gunn Cairns was born in Bonnyrigg near Edinburgh in 1948. After taking a degree in German and Comparative Religion at Aberdeen University, she studied at Edinburgh College of Art.
Her paintings and drawings ultimately reveal themselves as emotionally charged and often deeply studied depictions of historically prominent figures such as the poet Tom Scott, critic and author David Daiches, Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, to name but a few.
On a regular basis she sits her friends and acquaintances for numerous studies of portraits, figures and nudes. Sometimes she uses photographic materials and very often her own body as a point of departure.
Cairn’s oil paintings and drawings of animals could be understood and interpreted as an allegory of intense love and acknowledgement of their suffering.
Her artwork presents an intimate, personal and emotionally intense dialogue with the history of Western Art’s tradition of portraiture and figurative painting.
She is considered to be one of Scotland’s most cherished artists, with nine works in the permanent collection of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, five works in the permanent collection of the City Art Centre, and works in other major collections including Balliol College, Oxford and Jesus College, Cambridge.