This autumn an exhibition exploring the work of Pauline Burbidge and Charles Poulsen opens at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre. The Edinburgh Reporter went to have a look just ahead of it opening, and we would heartily recommend you pop by over the next few months.

This fabulous collection is on display until 4 March 2018 and there are a couple of interactive days when you can meet the artists and learn about their art.

Drawing is at the heart of both Pauline and Charlie’s practice. Charlie makes large scale drawings on paper and sculpture which he describes as 3D drawings. Pauline thinks of her stitching as drawn lines and also draws directly onto the fabric. Both artists connect strongly with an abstract vision.

Charlie’s work is more about energy than any particular subject matter, the invisible forces and energies within the earth which are bound into the square of the drawing where the marks are interwoven in a lattice of lines. He uses a combination of pencil, wax and gouache, in works on paper, lead, wood, wax and growing / training trees, in his sculpture.

When aged 25, Pauline was moved when viewing an exhibition of antique quilts to consider mixing it with her art school practice of drawing, colour, line, and abstraction. Add in a love of the rural landscape, the natural world and the spirituality of a special place and it creates a sense of her current work, now over two decades later.

She has exhibited worldwide, and her work has been purchased by the major museums of the UK and major USA collections.

Pauline’s textile work reflects the growth and seasonal changes within the natural world and rural landscape. She uses fine cottons & silks, and has developed the use of mono print and cyanotype print in her recent pieces. Her long career has connected with the tradition of quiltmaking, yet her images are far from traditional. She has always pursued her own unique and individual path.

They have commissioned David Martin to make a short film for this exhibition and Mike Worboys to create a sound collage.

24 years ago Charles and Pauline settled in the Borders, turning a set of farm buildings an hour south east of Edinburgh, Allanbank Mill Steading into their home and studios. It is an inspiring house, garden and working environment which they open up each year for a four-day event, Charlie & Pauline’s OPEN STUDIO

Songs for Winter shows the diversity and unity of their work which comes together here in this exhibition and every year in their OPEN STUDIO.

Operated by the City of Edinburgh Council, the City Art Centre is home to the Capital’s nationally recognised collection of historic and contemporary Scottish art.

Councillor Donald Wilson, Edinburgh’s Convener of Culture and Communities, said: “This free exhibition showcases a large selection of sculpture, drawings, sketchbooks, textiles and quilts reflecting the hugely talented creative force that is Pauline Burbidge and Charles Poulsen. We are delighted to welcome the husband and wife’s Scottish Borders practice to Edinburgh’s City Art Centre for this specially curated display, which will appeal to anyone with a love of beautifully made contemporary Scottish art and textiles. Our gallery is a space to celebrate and admire local and international art over the generations. Songs for Winter is a stunning, fresh addition to what is a packed winter programme at the Council’s Museums and Galleries.”

City Art Centre Curator, David Patterson, added: “We are really delighted to be showing the work of this exceptional partnership. When Charlie and Pauline first approached us some years ago, we were all taken by the quality of their work and the special environment in which it is created. Their annual Open Studio has become a much-loved event in the Scottish Borders artistic calendar, where they showcase their special home and studio alongside invited artists. Hopefully we’ve brought some of that uniqueness into the gallery.”

Songs for Winter Events Programme


Saturday 25 November

11am and 2pm

Join artists Pauline Burbidge and Charlie Poulsen for a unique tour of their exhibition. They will discuss each other’s work as well as the development of Allanbank Mill Steading, their Borders home which inspires so much of their artistic practice




Saturday 20 January, 2018 (a second day, Saturday 27th, will run if this event is fully subscribed)

Book your half hour session with artist Pauline Burbidge, and print your own Cyanotype fabric sample. Two people will be booked in for each half hour session. Sessions will run from 10am to 12 noon, and from 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Choose to print from Pauline’s selection of dried plant forms, feathers, etc, or bring in your own items to print. They need to be dry and flat, and fit within the finished print size of 30 x 15cms

For all ages over 5. Younger children must be accompanied by an adult.

Further details from the City Art Centre shop on the ground floor

£10 per person   BOOKING ESSENTIAL  0131 529 3993


Venue Details:

Address:                    City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, Edinburgh EH1 1DE

Telephone:               0131 529 3993


Twitter:                     @EdinCulture



Opening hours:        Wednesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday 12noon – 5pm