Norman McBeath

Norman McBeath is a photographer and printmaker. The National Portrait Galleries in London and Edinburgh have over seventy of his portraits in their collections.

Portraits held in the National Portrait Gallery, London can be seen here.



This collaboration with Edmund de Waal, artist, master potter and author, is now showing at the Fine Art Society in Edinburgh until 18th February, 2022.

Perdendosi is produced in a limited edition of twenty-five and presented in a custom-made solander box with silver gilt title. The portfolio features twelve black and white photographs and a text, Twelve Leaves, that Edmund de Waal has written as a direct and personal response to living with these photographs.

The title is a musical term meaning to gradually die away. The photographs are a study of leaves at the held, drawn-out stage of their metamorphosis, where they are poised on the cusp of decay and eventual disintegration. During this time, they take on extraordinary shapes as they slowly dry, giving each leaf a unique identity and character. They are at a stage when they are leached of all colour, more like parchment than plant, on the edge of crumbling into the ground and vanishing for good.

This study takes them up and gives them an attention, so they are seen in their own right – like a final Act. In this way Perdendosi offers familiar subjects of study, freighted with associations and symbolism, giving each viewer the opportunity to make their own interpretations.

Edmund de Waal offers his own train of thought and associations in his accompanying text Twelve Leaves, which he describes as both autobiography and a journal of reading. This is a uniquely personal, oblique and moving text, in which he draws from poets including Proust, Goethe and Celan in exploring his own emotional response, stimulated by living with the twelve photographs in this portfolio.


Fine Art Society Exhibition