Former SSA President (1983 – 1986) Bill Gillon’s health has deteriorated and sadly he has had to go into a care home. The family and Friends of Bill Gillon would like invite friends of the SSA to the last chance to see his collection of paintings, spanning 50 years in his studio prior to it being sold or broken up.
Open studio 19th Jan 2014 10:00am – 4:00pm
15 Bernard Terrace, Edinburgh.
Letter relayed by Anne & Eric Wishart, Portobello, Sunday 29 December 2013
BILL GILLON’S COLLECTION
At the invitation of Steve Gillon, art teacher in Livingstone and son of Bill Gillon, we were invited with the enclosed calling notice to 15 Bernard Terrace, Newington, yesterday afternoon. The illustrated calling notice is drawn together by son Nick who has been up a lot from Cheshire.
There is an urgent need for ideas about best re-housing of Bill’s collection pending formal photographing, cataloguing and appraisal.
Temporary arrangements may be possible with either of: WASPS, or “ART’S COMPLEX”, St Margaret’s House, Meadowbank, or very nearby at SUMMERHALL, [the Dick Vet at east end of the Meadows]. These three each have detailed web-sites for further contact information, though response may be slow this week with New Year happenings.
We rang Peter Standen about Printmakers Workshop but understand that because of new potential developments that won’t do at present.
Artist Martin Davidson has been nearest and closest over recent days; Bill came back without full memory and without money from Amsterdam, sent by police. Onset of Alzheimers has been assessed. He is now in a home on the Queensferry Road. Costs are estimated at £900 a week [!] for care, but there are no funds beyond teacher’s pension. Consequently there is a need to clear the flat, and to make it ready either for rental or sale.
Some of the paintings are as stunningly fresh as we experienced at SSA exhibitions 1983-1986 when Bill took his turn as President .. then followed by George Wylie, Reinhart Behrens and Lys Hansen. [We had to refer to the SSA Centenary Book for exact years! Such a vibrant and formative time, it does not feel like 30 years ago .]
Also among the art works and prints and metres and metres of picture framing was a Bellany which is likely to have been an artist-to-artist exchange in times gone by. The rooms are absolutely stacked with 50 years worth of accumulation, so there could be four van loads. Lots of canvases over 6 ft square. Easel, filing cabinet, table, and artist’s library that could fill maybe a dozen document storage boxes for transit. Conditions very spartan, no surprise.
The concern is that Bill has expressed no wish as to the artistic handling of his studio, and has been quite retiring in the past decade, so the purpose of the small gathering yesterday was to pool suggestions on the best future arrangements. Effectively the care-home will have a lien on the overall valuation, but there can be no valuation until sympathetic well-wishers help to get fresh day light on the collection.
Time frame : desirably all removed from 15 Bernard Terrace to safe and secure premises before 31 January 2014. There is also a possibility of another viewing shortly for friends who could not manage yesterday.
Bill did exhibit once a long time ago with Aitken Dott, and it is possible that the Scottish Gallery or the Open Eye may be approachable, once things are in tidier order for inspection
Please visit the Friends of Bill Gillon facebook page to see his work, updates and further information.