5b is honoured to publish the first monograph on the work of painter Carole Gibbons (b. 1935), one of the most distinctive and imaginative artists to have come out of Glasgow in the latter half of the 20th century. Her paintings burst with colour, hinting at narratives of both darkness and light. Rich in symbolism and narrative, the works fuse art-historical and mythological motifs with Gibbons' own lived experience, offering insights into a passionate and deeply-felt inner life.
Despite being one of the first women to exhibit in Glasgow's Third Eye Centre (now the CCA), Gibbons' oeuvre remains largely unknown. Heralded in her early career by peers Alasdair Gray, Douglas Abercrombie, and Alan Fletcher, Gibbons' life and work were subsequently plagued by misfortune, tragedy, and prejudice. Aside from an influential period in Spain, Gibbons has spent most of her life working in her Finnieston home where she raised her son, Henry. It is the scene of her most potent works: still lifes charged with the influence of Braque and Kirkeby, rendered in layers of murky earth tones, iridescent pigment, and astonishing washes of radiant colour.
Long overdue, the publication provides an eclectic survey of Gibbons' work, spanning various periods and subjects (mythological abstraction, self-portraits, the unconscious, domestic interiors) from large-scale canvases to works on paper, and includes texts by contemporary artists Lucy Stein and Andrew Cranston, which highlight the relevance of her legacy today.