Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan’s new publication The Bitter Cup is a novelistic response to artist Lil Neilson’s archive of paintings and sketch books left on her death in 1998. Lil Neilson met Joan Eardley in 1960 at Hospitalfield and the two artists worked alongside one another at The Watchie, their studio in Catterline Aberdeenshire, in the early 1960s. The Bitter Cup is published by Book Works with Hospitalfield and the support of Ann Steed who holds the Neilson estate.

The Bitter Cup was launched at Hospitalfield during the Autumn Season Open Weekend on Sunday 15 Septemberwith an In Conversation between the artists and writer Dr Susannah Thompson. The conversation considered the use of fiction and writing as part of an art practice as well as approaches to archival research, the construction of art historical narratives and how ‘writing back’ can ‘rewrite’ histories of art.

The publication is £14.95 and available through Book Works 

[1] Cover image of The Bitter Cup 2019. Courtesy of the artists and Book Works.
[2] Think Thingamajig (2003) by Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan, photographed by the artists, in the garden outside the watchie, during the Catterline Arts Festival, August 2003.