Colour Palettes, West to East

Carol Dewart PAI RSW, Jennifer Irvine RGI RSW, Hazel Nagl RGI RSW PAI & Jacqueline Orr RGI RSW PAI

Saturday 26 September to 25 October 2020

Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions we are unable to put on an opening event with the artists in attendance. However, the gallery will be open from 11-5pm on Saturday 26th for walk-ins but to ensure social distancing we will limit visits to one person or family group at any one time. Face masks should be worn and disposable masks are available from the gallery. 

Opening hours after the opening Saturday will revert to 11-3pm Tues to Saturday, 12-3pm Sunday and closed on Mondays. We are happy to arrange appointments between 3-5pm each day if preferred.

Four colourful artists from the West head to East Lothian in our next exhibition. Colour Palettes, West to East will showcase the work of four good friends; Carol Dewart, Jennifer Irvine, Hazel Nagl and Jacqueline Orr. All four artists studied drawing and painting at the world-famous art school in the 1970s and 1980s.

The exhibition, which reflects the fact that all the artists are based in the west of Scotland but exhibiting their work in East Lothian, opens at Fidra Fine Art in Gullane on Saturday 26 September. It runs until Sunday 25 October.

The idea to exhibit together came from Jacqueline Orr but according to Jennifer Irvine, “we all recognised immediately that it would work.”

She continues: “Our styles are very different but there is definitely a thread that runs through our work, connecting our images in our colour palettes hence the title of the show.”

Carol Dewart, whose distinctive landscape paintings of Scotland reflects a strong influence of Aboriginal art and its use of distinctive mark making, studied at GSA in the 1970s under well-known Scottish artists such as David Donaldson, James Robertson and Geoff Squire.

She says: “All four of us were at GSA and although not in the same year group, we have been firm friends for a long time. We are the product of a particularly strong period in the history of GSA. Over time, each of us has developed our own language and style of painting but the ethos of 1970-1980’s in GSA’s Drawing and Painting Department is a common factor in how we interpret our genre.”

Jacqueline Orr adds: “I was there a year or so after Carol and my tutors included James Robertson, Barbara Rae and John Cunningham. Our response to our chosen subject matter makes this exhibition interesting. The longstanding emphasis on observation and practice at the GSA allowed each of us to develop a distinct and evolving visual vocabulary, encouraging a unique response to the subject matter that excites us.   

“We are all colouristsexcept that our use of colour is very different and may confuse those who associate the term with bright, vivid colours.”

The threads that bind the four friends began with Hazel Nagl, who graduated from GSA in 1973 before going on to become resident tutor for several years at GSA’s workshop at Culzean Castle in Ayrshire. It was there she met Jennifer Irvine, then a young student.

The two women became friends and went on to meet Carol and Jacqueline through being involved in artist-run bodies such as Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts (RGI), Glasgow Art Club and the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours (RSW.

Hazel Nagl now lives in the historic village of Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire, famous for its links to the weaving industry and her latest paintings are informed by its history.

“Much has changed, of course,” she explains, “but there are still traces of it left not least the National Trust for Scotland Weaver’s Cottage which reflects so much of the old ways. The workshop has all the paraphernalia, colour and complications of the trade and an original loo A real drawing challenge!”