The Union Gallery in Edinburgh’s West End will present a special exhibition by two of Scotland’s most distinguished art figures later this month.

New works by Joyce Gunn Cairns MBE will feature alongside Alasdair Gray’s celebrated ‘The Scots Hippo’ series together with recent original pieces.

Alison Auldjo, Union Gallery Director, said: “We are thrilled to have two unique Scottish talents for this important exhibition as we approach the 10th anniversary of the Gallery.

“Over the years we have been delighted to exhibit Joyce Gunn Cairns’ distinctive drawings and paintings. We are equally honoured to be showing the inimitable work of all round creative giant Alasdair Gray for the first time at the Gallery. We are looking forward to welcoming both artists to the Private View on April 25th.”

Widely regarded as one of Scotland’s great creative polymaths, Alasdair Gray is a writer, illustrator, teacher, muralist and artist. Born in Glasgow in 1934, he trained in visual arts at Glasgow School of Art (1952-1957) and won international critical acclaim as a writer for his novels Lanark (1981) and Poor Things (1992).  

Gray’s art works feature in the public collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the National Galleries of Scotland, and his stunning murals adorn Òran Mór Auditorium and Hillhead Subway Station in Glasgow’s West End.

Joyce Gunn Cairns was born in Bonnyrigg near Edinburgh in 1948, and graduated with a degree in German and Comparative Religion from the University of Aberdeen before studying at Edinburgh College of Art.  

Gunn Cairns’ paintings and drawings focus intensely on her emotional and personal history and her enduring fascination with writers including Colm Tóibín, A L Kennedy, Richard Holloway, Edwin Morgan and Alasdair Gray 

She was made an MBE for services to the arts in the 2004 Queen’s Birthday Honours, and her work is held in significant permanent collections at Balliol College, Oxford, Jesus College Cambridge, Edinburgh City Art Centre and the National Galleries of Scotland. 


25 April – 25 May 2019

The Union Gallery, 4 Drumsheugh Place, Edinburgh

Daily except Sunday, from 10.30am until 5.00pm.