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This report is taken from PN Review 187, Volume 35 Number 5, May - June 2009.

Reflections, Impressions, Reactions Gerry McGrath
A crowd of more than 150 people attended the opening of an exhibition by the Swedish tempera artist, Margareta Persson. A section of the exhibition entitled Breaking the Silence contains eight paintings by Persson and five poems by the poet Gerry McGrath, a fellow resident at the Hotel Chevillon, Grezsur-Loing, France, in 2004, and with whom she was engaged in a collaboration on the subject of silence at the time of her death in August last year at the age of 61.

Margareta Persson divided her time between Gothenburg and the tiny west Swedish coastal hamlet of Gerlesborg, where she and her husband kept a summer home. For many years she was a committed member of the artists’ co-operative based nearby at Bottna, and worked as a tutor at the art school, a stone’s throw from her door. Gerlesborg was also where she went to work, in a small purpose-built studio at the side of the house, surrounded by low hills and escarpments, overlooking a fjord.

Originally an art historian, Margareta made the decision to return to full-time education in her late thirties. She studied art at the Hovedskous malarskola in Gothenburg, gaining her degree there in 1990. It was always her intention, once qualified, to make a living from her art and, with the aid of several financial awards, she was able to devote herself almost entirely to the task.

She was an environmentalist and held strong feminist principles. She could be bossy but ...

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