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The Riverbank – A Landscape of Sorrow and Hope

28 July 2022 - 27 August 2022

Duncan Shanks has lived in Crossford in the Clyde Valley for over 50 years. The river which flows past the bottom of his house and garden is a constant presence in his life. The water lapping the tangled bank is an ever-present soundtrack. It is the act of looking which is the driving force behind his art; by observing the garden and river every day, moments can be witnessed that he will have never seen before.

To complement his Festival exhibition we are releasing two new films produced by the Edinburgh Film Company. This is a rare opportunity to see this outstanding artist’s working environment, where he offers personal insights into his artistic practice with an audience for the first time.

Duncan Shanks

Meet the Artist

Born: 1937
Place of Birth: Airdrie

Duncan Shanks was born in Airdrie and studied at Glasgow School of Art where he later lectured. He draws his subjects and inspiration from the countryside around his home in the Clyde Valley. Strong colour and richly applied paint chart the changing seasons and the forces imminent in nature. His works also examine the perennial tasks and practices of traditional rural life.

‘Duncan Shanks is a committed and self-aware modernist. Nevertheless he chose from the beginning of his career the apparently old-fashioned idiom of landscape… his pictures reach beyond abstraction to achieve, in his own words, “a fusion of the actual and the abstract.’”‘
– Duncan MacMillan


Duncan Shanks will be the subject of a major new exhibition The Riverbank – A Landscape of Sorrow and Hope as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival 2022.


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