Thora Clyne - from her own studio


Tillywhally Cottage
Scotland, KY13 0RN


Phone: +44(0)1577-864297

Mobile: 07780 365 168




The Story Behind a Photograph


All images Thora Clyne, all rights reserved


This photograph is about time - the passing of time; the
stillness of a precious moment in the lives of two people,
my parents, at the threshold of their lives together.
It is about a day in July 1921 set aside for their marriage
in Wick, the grey town in the north of Scotland. 
Now that they are both dead and this theme in my work
is well established, I take a long look in order to find the
reason for its appearance.
"Wedding Breakfast" first appeared in 1970, again in
1979, re-appearing in 1992. These intervals in themselves
 become a source of mystery
George Scott Moncrieff said in a review in the Times Educational Supplement of 6th May 1972:- "Thora Clyne's 'Wedding
Breakfast' is anticipatory: no guests have yet arrived, yet her canvas breathes a delightful quality of airiness and imminent

"Wedding Breakfast" on Watford watercolour
paper   (22"x 30")   framed 900


"Wedding Breakfast"  Oil on canvas
(22"x 30")  frame brown and gold  380

This pause, this moment of punctuation in a summer's day, is an invocation of the future and an evocation of the past. It is
about the generation to come and presents a bitter-sweet memento to myself, the contemplator of an occasion I was not a part
of. It generates wistful thoughts of the parents whose beginnings together I never knew - for myself, the late child, it is about the
beginning of which I have lived to see the ending.
My grandfather David Laing, an amateur photographer, took a photograph in the dining room of the Station Hotel before the
guests arrived. Himself the owner of a small hotel at Mey, he was no doubt appreciative of the atmosphere created for the bridal
couple as well as wishing to make sure all was well with his camera before taking the wedding pictures.
I am drawn into this room again and again, with its unfathomable perspective dissolving in pale soft light. I find it to be a source
of infinite expression. I can visualise what is beyond and outside the windows, the riverside and the distant green fields, so well
that it becomes part of me and of my own myth.
I discovered the grey and white enlargement in the store-room along with many items from the past. My parents' move from
farmhouse to retirement further down the coast deprived me of much. The hoarded attics were left behind. Now several lives and
moves later, I hold on thankfully to all that remains:- a wax flower, a satin bow, a menu card and the softly focused photograph,
copied and enlarged and brought to new life.
Strangely, this photograph, although unimportant to me for almost thirty years, was kept and never discarded. Like a good
investment, it was quietly waiting for the time when I would recognise its worth. I can only say, something connects when I paint
this theme - perhaps a link with my grandfather, himself a Sunday painter and participating in his own ethereal way.

 Above picture available as folded card with envelope
  (5"x 7")  1. 20;   5 cards 5.00


Above picture available as Lithograph  (12"x18")
framed 125   unframed 90
3 in Private collections


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Click here for Pictures from the William Daniel Clyne Retrospective Exhibition shown at Banff in May 2009

Thora Clyne, 1999 - 2016