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Mardi Barrie was an exact contemporary of Elizabeth Blackadder and John Houston and like Houston she came from Fife and attended Edinburgh College of Art from 1948. She went on to teach at Broughton School in Edinburgh. She exhibited widely, including latterly with the Bruton Gallery and the Thackeray in London as well as one–person and group shows with The Scottish Gallery. Like so many Edinburgh Diplomates she owes something to William Gillies, in particular his later oils when he employed a palette knife. Also, like Gillies, she eschewed strong colour, preferring earth tones, her work inhabiting a stygian world of dusk and shadow. Her landscape routinely misses out the horizon, her subject as much in the landscape as of it. In this she is allied to painters such as Peter Lanyon and Ivon Hitchins and William Burns in Scotland, the abstract a means to address the natural world and a rich impasto and paint surface the plastic equivalent of the textures of the landscape.