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Songs for Winter by Pauline Burbidge & Charles Poulsen 
Opens on 4 November at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre

Images available here

This autumn, on 4 November an exhibition exploring the work of Pauline Burbidge and Charles Poulsen will open at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre.

Drawing is at the heart of both Pauline and Charlie’s practice. Charlie makes large scale drawings on paper and sculpture which he describes as 3D drawings. Pauline thinks of her stitching as drawn lines and also draws directly onto the fabric. Both artists connect strongly with an abstract vision.

Charlie’s work is more about energy than any particular subject matter, the invisible forces and energies within the earth which are bound into the square of the drawing where the marks are interwoven in a lattice of lines. He uses a combination of pencil, wax and gouache, in works on paper, lead, wood, wax and growing / training trees, in his sculpture.

When aged 25, Pauline was moved when viewing an exhibition of antique quilts to consider mixing it with her art school practice of drawing, colour, line, and abstraction. Add in a love of the rural landscape, the natural world and the spirituality of a special place and it creates a sense of her current work, now over two decades later. 

She has exhibited worldwide, and her work has been purchased by the major museums of the UK and major USA collections.

Pauline’s textile work reflects the growth and seasonal changes within the natural world and rural landscape. She uses fine cottons & silks, and has developed the use of mono print and cyanotype print in her recent pieces. Her long career has connected with the tradition of quiltmaking, yet her images are far from traditional. She has always pursued her own unique and individual path.

They have commissioned David Martin to make a short film for this exhibition and Mike Worboys to create a sound collage.

24 years ago Charles and Pauline settled in the Borders, turning a set of farm buildings an hour south east of Edinburgh, Allanbank Mill Steading into their home and studios. It is an inspiring house, garden and working environment which they open up each year for a four-day event, Charlie & Pauline’s OPEN STUDIO.

Songs for Winter shows the diversity and unity of their work which comes together here in this exhibition and every year in their OPEN STUDIO.

Operated by the City of Edinburgh Council, the City Art Centre is home to the Capital’s nationally recognised collection of historic and contemporary Scottish art.

Councillor Donald Wilson, Edinburgh’s Convener of Culture and Communities, said: 'This free exhibition showcases a large selection of sculpture, drawings, sketchbooks, textiles and quilts reflecting the hugely talented creative force that is Pauline Burbidge and Charles Poulsen. We are delighted to welcome the husband and wife’s Scottish Borders practice to Edinburgh’s City Art Centre for this specially curated display, which will appeal to anyone with a love of beautifully made contemporary Scottish art and textiles. Our gallery is a space to celebrate and admire local and international art over the generations. Songs for Winter is a stunning, fresh addition to what is a packed winter programme at the Council’s Museums and Galleries.'

City Art Centre Curator, David Patterson, added: 'We are really delighted to be showing the work of this exceptional partnership. When Charlie and Pauline first approached us some years ago, we were all taken by the quality of their work and the special environment in which it is created. Their annual Open Studio has become a much-loved event in the Scottish Borders artistic calendar, where they showcase their special home and studio alongside invited artists. Hopefully we’ve brought some of that uniqueness into the gallery.'

The exhibition Songs for Winter has been curated in collaboration with the artists Pauline Burbidge and Charles Poulsen. 

Songs for Winter
Pauline Burbidge | Charlie Poulsen
4 November 2017 to 4 March 2018
City Art Centre, Edinburgh
Free Admission 
Books and cards will be available to purchase, during the exhibition.
Special publications for this exhibition are:
• Songs for Winter / booklet - £5
• OPEN STUDIO / book including Songs for Winter - £20
• DRAWINGS by Charles Poulsen, Hughson Gallery, 2017 - £12


Pauline Burbidge CV 2017 
• 1972 completed Degree at St.Martin’s School of Art, London – Fashion/Textiles
• 1993/4 Charlie & Pauline were married; moved to the Scottish Borders; held first Open Studio event in Allanbank Mill Steading
• Received awards from: The Crafts Council, 1978; John Ruskin Award, 1982; Scottish Arts Council, 1996
• 2006 – 14 Exhibited annually at The Festival of Quilts, at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, including PB RETRO: Interpretations in Cloth, a major retrospective show in 2012 
• 1979 – 2017, exhibited in many international venues including, The Victoria & Albert Museum; The Shipley Art Gallery; The Knitting & Stitching Shows, with Quiltworks; The Whitworth Art Gallery; The Bowes Museum; The Ruskin Craft Centre; The International Quilt Study Centre, USA; The Works Gallery, USA

Charles Poulsen CV 2017 
• 1983- 86: BA in fine Art at Loughborough College of Art followed by an MA in fine Art at Trent Polytechnic
• 1993/4 Charlie & Pauline were married; moved to the Scottish Borders; held first Open Studio event in Allanbank Mill Steading
• 1997/98 Residencies at Grizedale Forest Cumbria, Killhope Mining Centre Co. Durham and Katzow Sculpture Park, Germany + follow up exhibition Pb in the Grizedale Gallery
• 2010/12 Growing, touring show of drawing and sculpture plus exhibition legacy “Growing Sculpture” - Host (daffodils) at Gracefield Dumfries and Black is White (snowdrops) in Hawick. Still to be seen there. Also started growing sculpture in Spottiswoode, Berwickshire and one in Puglia, Italy
• 2016/17 Gridulations Exhibition of drawing at the Hughson Gallery, Glasgow and the publication of Charles Poulsen Drawing, (available in the shop).
Showing alongside Songs for Winter: Pauline Burbidge & Charles Poulsen are three exhibitions: Playfair and the City (11 November to 25 February 2018), A Fine Line (18 November to 18 February 2018) and Hidden Gems (until 13 May 2018)

See more of Charlie and Pauline’s work in a concurrent exhibition, Growth and Art, at The Royal Botanic Gardens, in the RBGE Library Foyer, The Science Building

Learning and Programmes:
As ever, the City Art Centre is offering guided tours of its exhibitions on Fridays and Saturdays at 3pm. Accompanying the show is also an exciting events programme. For further information, please contact Margaret Findlay, Public Programmes Manager on 0131 529 3963 or by email

Songs for Winter Events Programme
Gallery Tours
Saturday 25 November | 11am and 2pm
Join artists Pauline Burbidge and Charlie Poulsen for a unique tour of their exhibition. They will discuss each other’s work as well as the development of Allanbank Mill Steading, their Borders home which inspires so much of their artistic practice
FREE    BOOKING ESSENTIAL   +44 (0) 131 529 3993

Print Your Own Cyanotype Fabric
Saturday 20 January, 2018 (a second day, Saturday 27th, will run if this event is fully subscribed)
Book your half hour session with artist Pauline Burbidge, and print your own Cyanotype fabric sample. Two people will be booked in for each half hour session. Sessions will run from 10am to 12 noon, and from 1.30pm to 3.30pm
Choose to print from Pauline’s selection of dried plant forms, feathers, etc, or bring in your own items to print. They need to be dry and flat, and fit within the finished print size of 30 x 15 cm
For all ages over 5. Younger children must be accompanied by an adult.
Further details from the City Art Centre shop on the ground floor
£10 per person   BOOKING ESSENTIAL  +44 (0) 131 529 3993

Venue Details

City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, Edinburgh EH1 1DE | +44 (0) 131 529 3993
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Opening hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm | Sunday 12noon - 5pm

The City Art Centre is one of Edinburgh’s main public art galleries. It is owned and managed by the City of Edinburgh Council. It is home to the City’s collection of historic and contemporary Scottish art, one of the best in the country. The gallery hosts a vibrant programme of exhibitions from its collection and by contemporary local, national and international artists and makers.

Media Contacts
For further information, images or interview requests please contact: 
Susie Gray or Kate Bouchier-Hayes at The Corner Shop PR +44 (0) 7834 073 795 +44 (0) 131 202 6220
Katy Allison, Media Team, City of Edinburgh Council +44 (0) 131 529 4452 |

If you are an art critic and wish to review the exhibition, please contact:
David Patterson, Curator: Exhibitions, City Art Centre
+44 (0) 131 557 4165 I +44 (0) 131 529 3955 



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