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Jeremy Howard

Wednesday 8th June 2022

Topping & Company Booksellers of St Andrews, 7 Greyfriars Garden, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9HG
Doors Open
Start Time

Join us on the 8th of June for a celebration of the book launch for Balkan Fabrications from St Andrews University, Art History Senior Lecturer, Dr. Jeremy Howard.

Taking as its departure point the painting Serbian Women by Fra Newbery, who, as Director of the Glasgow School of Art, had sown the seeds for the internationally acclaimed Scottish modern movement, Balkan Fabrications explores the nature and place of Newbery’s move to Balkan subjects in the 1920s. In so doing it simultaneously focuses on the work of his wife, Jessie Newbery, the first head of embroidery at Glasgow, whose interest in Balkan textiles proved an inspiration for her husband’s painterly experiments. Through probing the Newberys’ interpretations of folk crafts and conventions of southeastern Europe, the book considers what they have to say about notions of art, life, womanhood and modernity.

By highlighting political motivations as well as artistic responses Howard weaves a tale of diverse, sometimes conflicting, ideas and values with wide-reaching ramifications. Parallels and alternatives to the Newberys’ creative expression of concern for the observed Balkan designs and customs are revealed through a survey of work by other under-appreciated artists. While most of these happen to be British and female, their art is examined alongside that of several from the peninsula who convey counterpart constructions of Balkan identity. The result is Balkan Fabrications.