Borders Art Fair 2018

Springwood Park

16-18 March
10-4pm Free Entry

Come and join us for a fabulous 3 days, celebrating visual arts in the beautiful Scottish Borders.

Live art demonstrations, over 50 exhibiting artist stands, creative talks and discussions, our ‘local heroes’ exhibition, competitions, food and drink and, a whole lot of fun for all ages!

We’ll be on Stand 33 and will have a range of great work on show including; Claire Beattie, George Birrell, Davy Brown, Dominique Cameron, Matthew Draper, George Gilbert, Simon Laurie, Ann Oram, Arran Ross, Gordon M Scott & Astrid Trugg.

Hope to see you there.

Joseph Davie, Mark Bannerman & Robert Powell

Our next show will open on <strong>Friday 17th from 6-8pm</strong> with a Preview featuring the work of three of the most imaginative artists working in Scotland today – <strong>Joseph Davie, Mark Bannerman & Robert Powell</strong>.

I first came across Joe Davies work in the Fleming Collection. It was a strange figurative piece titled "Forest Encounter" which immediately caught my attention. The looming figure was in outline with the interior filled with a colourful narrative of smaller figures toiling in a world of Joes invention. It was quite different to anything I had seen and remains quite unique. His work in this show is similarly beguiling. Themes ranging from faith, salvation, the tyranny of tv and media, chaos and order, maths and electricity, there is plenty to keep the inquisitive occupied.

Similarly, the strange world of Mark Bannermans art will keep the curious viewer both charmed and intrigued. Ive known Mark since art college days and have witnessed his early enchanting painting being set aside when he moved from traditional media to the digital world. It took time to learn the new technology and grow with its developments but Mark has harnessed the limitless digital possibilities and has now found the medium which perfectly captures his imaginative musings. Intriguing, often beautiful, usually cheeky, Marks work is always captivating.

Robert Powells work is extraordinary. Beautiful, meticulous etching teeming with life and humour. Somewhere between the dystopia of Hieronymous Bosch and the more humorous world of Wheres Wally, Robert weaves an intellectual narrative which explores the history of the world through art and science which ultimately encourages us to draw parallels with society today. His work has rightly won him numerous awards and he has already had several international exhibitions.

Its really great to have all three artists here in North Berwick.

As I mentioned, the show kicks off with a <strong>Preview on Friday 17th March from 6-8pm and continues until 17th April</strong>. Its sure to be an intriguing exhibition – I hope you can make it along.

Mixed Exhibition – May/June 2016

<strong>The Mixed Show starts with an Opening Night on Friday 20th May from 6-8pm and runs through to 19th June</strong>. As usual we try to show a mix of traditional, older works by well known Scottish names from the past alongside current mainstream artists as well as emerging artists both local and from further afield.

We will have around 50 new pieces from the likes of George Birrell, Matthew Draper, Simon Laurie, Dominique Cameron, Alice McMurrough, Neil Macdonald, Lesley Banks, Mark Bannerman, Donald Macleod, Joseph Urie as well as older pieces from Robert Colquhoun, Patrick William Adam, James McBey, John Bellany and more if I can find the hanging space.

We will be introducing a few new names and styles to the gallery…

Edinburgh University and ECA graduate in Fine Art, currently living and working in Duns, <a href="">Claire Beattie</a> has submitted two of her popular, subtly toned tree studies. Beautiful, calming work inspired by the border landscape around home.

<a href="">Gardner Muirhead</a> also a graduate of ECA but in Textiles, brings something completely different. Inspired by German cinema, typography and a general Cold War aesthetic, Gardners mixed media and print work is well worth a look and a great addition to the show.

Another ECA graduate, Kate Henderson works in stained glass as well as mixed media painting. The common thread is historic architecture and the handling of light in and on these buildings. The resulting work, although not traditionally representational, is vibrant and vividly expressive.

Ahead of a solo show here at the end of June, we will also be introducing the work of <a href="">Jock MacInnes RGI</a>. Ive been an admirer of Jocks work for a long time now so its great to have his work in the gallery. Inspired by the work of some of the greats such as Matisse, Braque and Morandi as well as the Modern British, St Ives artists, Ben Nicolson, William Scott and Alfred Wallis, Jocks work is a genuine delight and Im sure will be perfect for a long hot summer in North Berwick!

Hope to see you at the Preview.

Mixed Exhibition – January / February 2016

<strong>The Mixed Show starts with an Opening Night on Friday 15th January from 6-8pm and runs through to 28th February</strong>. As usual we try to show a mix of traditional, older works by well known Scottish names from the past alongside current mainstream artists as well as emerging artists both local and from further afield.

For this exhibition we are delighted to be showing the work of another of my favourite artists, Matthew Draper. Matthews handling of light in his land and seascape pastels is breathtaking. His work is regularly on show at the most well respected galleries across the UK so its a real treat to get some of his work here in North Berwick. Not to be missed!

Also new to the gallery for this show is the work of Dominique Cameron, a recent graduate from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, Dominiques observations of the changing seasons living on the coast in the East Neuk should resonate with people on this side of the Forth.

We will also have some abstract mixed media landscape work by local artist Jean Laing and also new to the gallery, Allan Roberston, a graduate from Edinburgh College of Art who works on industrial landscape painting will also be here for the first time with a couple of interesting and haunting pier studies.

Also in the mixed show will be a few “hot of the easel” pieces by George Birrell, again not to be missed. Jayne Stokes, Angela Reaping, Georgina Bown and Andy Heald will have some new work on show and a few exquisite, reclaimed wood sculptures from Michel Rulliere.

As well as current artists work, we also have a few recently acquired pieces by John Houston, Patrick William Adam (who used to live next door to here in Ardilea a hundred years or so ago!), John Bellany and few others if we can find the space!

Hope you can make it along.

Sandy Murphy, James Cosgrove, Michael Durning & Euan McGregor

This Christmas we are delighted to welcome four very popular Ayrshire artists, each with a different and distinctive style – Sandy Murphy RSW RGI PAI, Jimmy Cosgrove RSW RGI PAI, Michael Durning PPAI PAI RSW and Euan McGregor PAI.

Sandy Murphy studied at GSA under Barbara Rae and Duncan Shanks and like them his work is typically rich in colour and texture with lovely balanced tone. These features wonderfully, capture the changing seasons in his landscapes and control the mood in his still lives.

Jimmy Cosgroves work is instantly recognisable. Like Sandy his work is rich in colour and harmonious in tone. But it is perhaps the imagery in his paintings which is so unique. He accumulates ideas from his travels abroad or from up an down his native West coast of Scotland. Ideas captured in written or painted form are posted back to his studio for further work on his return. Jimmy was a member of staff for many years at GSA, retiring as Deputy Director in 1999 to return to his own work.

Michael Durning is currently President of the Paisley Art Institute but is in the process of stepping down so he can return to focus on his own work. Michael studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee and then as a Postgraduate at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen. More representational in style than Jimmy and Sandys work, his work whether landscape or architectural in subject, is strong in draughtsmanship and composition but also has a real feeling of historic time and place.

Euan McGregor, fresh from a successful one man show in London, provides another dynamic to our Christmas exhibition. Currently working as a teacher in Renfrewshire, Euan studied Printmaking at GSA but still manages to find time to create his own work, exhibiting regularly at the PAI, RGI and RSA and commercial galleries up and down the UK. More abstract in style, Euan has a strong interest in mid 20th Century British landscape painting and in particular draws inspiration from the work of Ivon Hitchens, Keith Vaughn, Milton Avery and the St Ives School.

A great mix of work from four highly accomplished and much in demand artists which makes us really fortunate to have attracted them to the gallery for our Christmas Exhibition.

I hope you will join us for a glass of wine at the <strong>Preview on Saturday 5th December between 12 and 5pm</strong> where you will be able to meet the artists and discuss their work.

Joseph Urie – New Monotypes and Early Oils

We have the perfect exhibition coming up for Halloween… Joseph Urie will be here to exhibit his new monotypes as well as a number of dramatic, large (6ft square) early oils on canvas. The two styles complement each other perfectly and demonstrate a continuity of style and a mastery of the different techniques. Joe has been exploring the medium of Monotype print making over the past two years and has found it to be a perfect match to his expressive style of painting. Both in terms of subject matter – monochrome suits his dark exploration of the human condition, as well as his painterly application.

Monotypes, by definition are unique original artworks. In these cases Joe has applied both an additive process – creating the image directly onto the surface in much the same way as he would in a painting albeit the printed image will be a mirror image and also a subtractive process where the plate is covered in ink and an image is created by taking the ink off the plate. Both processes offer opportunities to explore textures and tone using different tools, pressure and techniques. In comparison to other forms of printmaking it can offer a very immediate and expressive final image but the ability to perfect, for example, a graduated tone, takes months of practice.

Joe, a graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee and the Royal Academies in London is an expressive, figurative painter and since the 60s has endeavoured to portray mans struggles to seek contentment in the face of adversities such as war, betrayal, jealousy and rejection. To portray this on the canvas Joe has developed his own symbolism. The use of animals such as cats (mysterious creatures of the night), dogs (companions, protectors), horses (Joe was once bitten by one!) and birds bearing gifts, appear often. Common too are masks to suggest duplicity and also shrouded figures which hark back to childhood memories of a mysterious old lady who would sing Scottish laments in the close below his home in Glasgow, suggest mystery, fear and protection. Although the work appears sometimes dark and troubled the inspiration for the symbolism stems from similar memories and experiences we have all encountered.

In my opinion one of the stand out images from his recent Monotypes is that of the "Dead Scarecrow" which portrays a figure grotesquely slumped, lifeless from a cross in a desolate landscape. It perfectly expresses Joes revulsion to the recent murders and destruction of artistic treasures by the ISIS movement in Syria – "men of straw". In my opinion a very fine example of expressive figurative art which wouldnt look out of place next to the work of Kollowitz, Dix and other German Expressionist artists. Visceral stuff!

I have also been fortunate to persuade Joe to show some of his larger early work. We have three (if I can get them hung) 6ft square(ish) canvasses featuring some of his well known subjects shown at the Vigorous Imagination exhibition – a landmark exhibition at the SNGMA in 1987 which launched the careers of some the most well known artists in Scotland today; Peter Howson, Ken Currie, Stephen Conroy, Steven Campbell and Adrian Wiszniewski. Several pieces havent been shown before so it is a real treat to have them here in North Berwick.

W Gordon Smith, the much loved art critic for the Scotsman once wrote of Joe, "Urie is maybe the most poetic of our contemporary painters, a unique stylist whose images are a personal synthesis of classical stricture and primitive symbolic mythology." Come and see why.

<strong>Joe will be here for the Preview on Friday 30th October from 6-8pm to which you are invited to join us. The show runs until November the 29th so if you cant make it to the Preview do try and drop in at some point. Always if you cant make the weekend feel free to visit midweek but maybe contact us first just to ensure we are not out.</strong>

Mixed Exhibition October 2015

Our Mixed Exhibition for October features seven new pieces by Gordon M Scott. We had a few of Gordons pieces in earlier in the year and they were all well received. Similar in style, these landscape works in pencil and pastel are meticulously constructed with a real atmospheric, mystical feel.

Also back for October with three new, large pieces is Andy Heald. Again Andys work was well received before so we are sure you will enjoy this new work featuring the East Lothian landscape.

We also have a few typically vibrant pieces from Dundee artist, Jonathan Hood, some stunning Monoprints from Georgina Bown, a lovely pencil and crayon study by Tom Wilson and a number of canvasses from Donald Manson as well as three new pieces by George Birrell.

We are also delighted to be selling for a client, a beautifully atmospheric watercolour by William James Laidlaw Baillie titled "Dusk, Caithness". A past President of the RSA and RSW and Hon RA, William Baillies work is held in many public collections including RSA, SAC and SNGMA so its great to have it on show here in North Berwick.

We also have a few watercolours by John Hamilton Glass ARDA (fl.1890-1925) of the local area from around the beginning of the last century. One is a village scene of Athelstaneford and the other two, which can be bought as a pair, of the Old Mill at Humbie and corn stooks at harvest, also from Humbie.

We welcome a new sculptor to the gallery this month, Jane Smith from Aboyne in Aberdeenshire. Jane has 4 beautiful new bronze pieces which are suitable for positioning outside in the garden…or in the case of "Dragonfly", in a pond.

<strong>The show previews on Saturday 10th October from 12-5pm so please feel free to join us for a glass of wine. The show continues until Sunday 25th October.</strong>