Exhibition of Marjorie Campbell's work on 9th June 2012

A second exhibition of Marjorie Campbell paintings, drawings and glassware opened on Saturday 9 June in the library at Ionad Naomh Moluag, Lismore’s Gaelic Heritage Centre. Sarah Campbell, Marjorie’s daughter who lives with her family at Balimakillichan, introduced her “extraordinary mother” who insisted on her children creating what she called “the rich broth of life”, a combination of love, family and creativity. The rich broth was certainly there in the great range of Marjorie’s work with everything from comical drawings to dramatic oils and a great deal in between. Much of the curating of the exhibition had been done by Marjorie’s sister Alison who said that Marjorie had always been willing to try new styles and not just stick to what sold. She also learnt, while raising her four daughters, to work quickly and when she could. A chance to see such work in Lismore does not come often and we are grateful to the Campbell family and the Heritage Centre for the chance to see the work of someone who spent a great deal of time on Lismore and whose family continue to do so.

Later in the afternoon, there was a very special tie-in performance by one of Marjorie’s other daughters, musician Mairi Campbell and her husband Dave Francis who together perform as The Cast. Their composition – The Red Earth – told the story of Marjorie’s grandfather, John Anderson, and his religious and literal journey which took him to the south western corner of China where he set up a mission and a clinic. Though he later returned to Edinburgh, his son Gordon went back as a doctor with Marjorie’s mother, a teacher. In a moving combination of words and music, The Cast told the story of these journeys including the tragic death of Gordon from typhoid when only 30 and Marjorie’s mother’s incredible journey back to Edinburgh in 1939. Travelling anywhere was difficult at that time and travelling from China with two small children near impossible. The composition impressed with its emotional range and in particular its humour and positivity despite overwhelming life events.

The exhibition continues until 6th July in the library.

Text and photographs provided by Pauline Dowling on 22nd June 2012

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