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Canadian stamp of honour for Scots-based photographer

A pioneering photographer who spent most of her life living in obscurity in Glasgow is being honoured by her native country on a new national stamp .

RECOGNITION: 20th century photographer Margaret Watkins, left, gave a cache of images, including her kitchen sink, to Glasgow gallery owner Joe Mulholland.
RECOGNITION: 20th century photographer Margaret Watkins, left, gave a cache of images, including her kitchen sink, to Glasgow gallery owner Joe Mulholland.

The stamp issued today by Canada Post features an image by Scots-Canadian photographer Margaret Watkins, who lived in the west end of Glasgow from 1928 in relative anonymity but is now regarded as one of her country's leading photographers.

The image, The Kitchen Sink, from 1919, shows a sink filled with washing up, a kettle and a tap, and dates from the period when Ms Watkins, who died in Glasgow in 1969, was working in New York.

Born in Ontario, Canada, in 1884, she learned photography in the US but moved to Glasgow to get away from her home in New York, staying with an aunt in Westbourne Gardens.

A print of the image is owned by Joe Mulholland, owner of the Hidden Lane Gallery in the city, who received a cache of more than 1000 photographs from Ms Watkins, who was his neighbour, just before she passed away.

Canada Post said in a statement: "Canada Post has curated a collection of photographs to create a series of stamps that speak to the depth and variety of Canada's photographic tradition."

Marc Mayer, the director of the National Gallery of Canada, who was in Glasgow yesterday to view the print, said: "The image itself is like a Tracey Emin work, but its from 1919, and some people criticised her for it at the time. It's really quite beautiful, its beautifully composed, as are all her photographs."

Mr Mulholland said that after long promoting Ms Watkin's work, the stamp was the "icing on the cake".

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