Bet Low

Born: 1924
Died: 2007

Bet Low was born in 1924 in Gourock and studied at the Glasgow School of Art during the War. She then attended Hospitalfield in Arbroath when James Cowie was Warden. Like her fellow student Joan Eardley, she was inspired by the intellectual freedom and broad cultural engagement; Cowie’s rather prescriptive attitude to drawing and painting left no discernible trace on either but an intense way of looking and an idea of the seriousness of the painter’s calling was deeply valued. Back in Glasgow she became involved in politics and the artistic renaissance which coalesced around J.D. Fergusson and Margaret Morris. Low joined the New Scottish Group of writers and artists and co-founded the Clyde Group, working to provide exhibition opportunities outside the confines of the RSA and RGI, including from 1956 outside, on

the railings of the Botanical Garden. Her interests included theatre and she worked with the Glasgow Unity Theatre and Morris’s Celtic Ballet. The realist/expressionist character of much of the work produced in this milieu, enriched by the presence of European refugee painters and Fergusson’s contact with the Parisian avant-garde was not sustained into the 60s and Bet Low moved back towards the natural world for her inspiration, to the poetry of her friend George Mackay Brown, the bare, linear charms of Orkney and the ever changing movement of water. She exhibited with The Scottish Gallery from the 50s showing regularly in mixed exhibitions and solo in 1981.

Her work is widely collected with twelve examples in public collections.

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