Sheila Mullen

Sheila Mullen has spent the last 35 years painting in Annandale on
the little known Kinnel waters. Lying on the river just above the
floodplain is Elizatown - a ruined village of about 10 houses with
animal pens and sheds. The children would have crossed the river,
climbing steps cut into Lunan's Leap, to go to school at Goodhope.
Lunan's Leap is a cave beneath a huge sandstone rock which was
inhabited by Lunan, a highway robber, who would leap out from his
hideaway to the road running overhead to relieve the travellers going
north and south to Edinburgh and London of their worldly goods.
This is Bruce and Wallace country giving one of the tributaries of the
Kinnel its name, Bluidy Rin, where Wallace killed the English
soldiers from Lochmaben. This was also the road used by the
Jacobite army on its retreat from Derby.

'Everywhere is wild and secret with little signs of habitation from
long ago. Because of its north south course the valley is often filled
with sunshine and, due to its steepness. is almost exclusively Sheila's.
The rocks, waterfalls, calm pools, pebbley banks, trees, wild flowers
and animals create a magical world. Yet this lives alongside an
underlying darkness, the decay of long ago, the sudden death and
poverty and fear that was life for its previous tenants.'

Self-portrait (1981)
Photo, 2013
Self-portrait, 1980s