Dream Plays (Scenes from a Play I’ll Never Write): Catterline

Sue Glover
Traverse 2

In the early 1960s, Joan Eardley created a small, eccentric artists’ community at Catterline, an isolated village on the North-East coast of Scotland, south of Aberdeen.

In these scenes from a larger work, Sue Glover gives viewers a glimpse of lesbian Jock, as she was known to at least one follower, and a pair of acolytes.

Anne Lacey’s Joan could be an austere figure but loved and knew painting, not to mention her way around a pub and its temptations.

Despite her own hermit-like tendencies, she somehow adopted the manic Angus Neil (Lewis Howden), a Glasgow joiner turned artist, whose self-deprecating tendencies hid a rare talent.

The triumvirate was uncomfortably completed by Lil Nielson (Victoria Liddelle). She had been a student under Joan and moved north to learn more, swiftly getting the personal treatment in every sense.

This partial portrait delves under the skins of the older couple and gives something of an impression of what art means to those caught up in its web and unable to release themselves from its pains and pleasures.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher

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