Staff Picks - Autumn 201919 Sep 2019
November Staff Picks
The Scottish Gallery staff would like to share with you on a monthly basis some of our favourite things that we discover and come across here in The Gallery, but are not always on display. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Alison McGill chose: Robert Macmillan, Harmony in Blue and Green
I’ve selected ‘Harmony in Blue and Green’ oil on board, 33 x 54 cm by Robert Macmillan. His colour palette and handling of the paint which depicts the haar and reflection on the water is particularly appealing to me. The suggestion of distant buildings and twinkling lights makes for a magical scene. I’m very much looking forward to seeing more new work by the artist in The Gallery in March 2020.
Christina Jansen chose: Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley, Block Stool
I love this block stool with Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley. Not only is it a useful perch but it is also a beautiful, natural oak sculpture. The material speaks to Jim and Liz and in return they respond.
Lisa Muxworthy chose: Elizabeth Cumming, Robin Philipson
I adore Robin Philipson's paintings but having read this wonderful biography, I feel I know so much more about the artist and his elaborate techniques. Elizabeth has a wonderful writing style and you can't help but get wrapped up in her enthusiasm for an artist she too clearly admires. I can't recommend this book more highly.
Chantal de Prez chose: Victoria Crowe, First Day, Siena
'First Day, Siena' plays out like a memory. Fleeting visions of the medieval city are delicately overlaid in watercolour, infusing landscape, art and architecture, and are presided over by the striped bell tower of Siena Cathedral. I particularly enjoy the fragments of brightly-cloaked figures who appear to have emerged from a mural by Duccio or Simone Martini.
Kirsty Sumerling chose: Naoko Shibuya, Sway in the Wind II
I love the Autumnal colour palette in Naoko Shibuya’s work and this piece makes me think of a crisp Autumn morning thick with birdsong as they strip the berries from the trees. Naoko’s clever use of a striking circular canvas seems to represent the cyclical flow of nature.
Laura Cooper chose: Andrea Geile, Electric Field Ellipse
This delicate yet strong piece goes so well against the grey stone walls so often found in Edinburgh Gardens.
Elizabeth Jane Campbell chose: Alison Macleod, Catkin Oval Champagne Diamond Solitaire
Alison uses Fairtrade gold to create delicate, feminine and tactile jewellery pieces. This ring features a stunning oval cut champagne diamond – I love the rich warmth of the diamond alongside the gold and the subtle texture on the band which catches the light. There is a lovely vintage feeling to Alison’s work, including this ring. Her love of antique treasures, family heirlooms, and the stories they tell translates into her jewellery to create beautifully modern and wearable pieces with a vintage twist.
Tommy Zyw chose: Robert Macmillan, Nightly Guidance
Robert Macmillan is based in Broughty Ferry. He builds up his painting using multiple layers of oil, scraping and reworking the surface over a period of time. His paintings of the east coast are concerned with capturing light and are both ethereal and beautiful such as this painting Nightly Guidance.
October Staff Picks
Lisa Muxworthy chose: David Cass, Horizon 58%
Horizon 58% was part of David Cass’s exhibition in February this year called Rising Horizon. Each piece in the series was given a number – representing the percentage of the picture plane occupied by water – with the percentage rising until there is no sky left. Cass is deeply concerned with rising sea levels and its profound danger and this exhibition communicated that so effectively. With these works you are struck not just by his message, but also David’s great technical ability and the beauty of the sea.
Laura Cooper chose: Edmond Byrne, Tall Cylinder, Metameric Landscape
This piece by Edmond Byrne doesn’t look the way you would expect a sculpture in glass to look. He uses Kaolin clay on the outer surface to create this cloudy aged effect – turning the glass into something more tactile. His work is so unusual but without compromising beauty.
Kirsty Sumerling chose: Jennifer Hickey, A Little Rose
This month I have chosen A Little Rose by Jennifer Hickey. This piece is made from wafer thin porcelain petals that are hand sewn together to create the sculptural form. I love how, in the hands of Jennifer, a delicate material grows to become a 3D piece - her love of rituals, physical rhythms, repeat processes and an understanding of her material are such important factors.
Christina Jansen chose: Dante Marioni, White Reticello Acorn
Dante Marioni is one of the world’s finest living glass blowers. Dante Marioni was born into a family of American glassblowers and from an early age he spent summers at Pilchuck Glass School in Washington, USA, before studying glassblowing at The Glass Eye, Washington. The White Reticello Acorn is a potent symbol of nature and it is also technical masterpiece. Reticello is an Italian glassblowing technique. It involves the merging of two cane bubbles (one inside the other) in which the straight canes were twisted in opposite directions. Once merged, the opposing twisted canes cross each other creating a net like pattern. If done the traditional way, small air bubbles will be trapped in a grid pattern between the crossing canes. The acorn is a perfect, flawless example.
Ali McGill chose: Hannah Mooney, Small Study for a Seascape
I’ve chosen this particular painting which will be included in Hannah’s forthcoming exhibition ‘Notes from the West’ which runs at the Gallery from 2 to 26 October 2019. It is an absolute gem of a painting and as an artist myself, I greatly admire her paintings and particularly love the textures and mark making she has used to capture the coastal shoreline.
Ruth Leslie chose: Cara Murphy, Miniature Bowls
What’s not to love! Cara is an incredibly talented silversmith who normally makes to a larger scale, but made these tiny bowls for our Miniaturists exhibition last year.
Elizabeth Campbell chose: Wallace#Sewell, Dart Diffusion Scarf
Now that the temperture has dropped I’ve dug out my Wallace#Sewell scarf – my absolute favourite scarf! I love their use of colour and pattern to create interesting and unique textiles. As the scarves are made from 100% lambswool they are brilliantly warm while still being light and comfortable. They also make great presents for those thinking ahead…
Tommy Zyw chose: Charles Simpson, Wave, Camusdarach
Having spent the last week in the north west highlands, I can appreciate the unique way in which Charles Simpson captures the changing light and atmosphere in this special part of the country. Camusdarach beach is just south of Mallaig and looks out towards the islands of Eigg and Rum.
Guy Peploe chose: William Gillies, Sheep Pen on the Meldons Road.
My choice is a Gillies watercolour recently acquired called Sheep Pen on the Meldons Road. It is such a deceptively simple, typical Gillies watercolour: high horizon, distinct tonal masses, decisive drawing, cool colours on an autumnal afternoon.
September Staff Picks
Laura Cooper chose: Derrick Guild, Summer Falls
This is one of my favourite paintings from Derrick's exhibition Ever After, there are a few paintings in this show that include trompe l'oeil rose petals like this - but Summer Falls uses them in isolation and on the largest scale, in various colours and at various stages of the life-cycle. To look at, this painting is mesmerising and soothing, but knowing that Derrick refers to his botanical paintings as 'portraits of flowers' makes you appreciate it beyond its straightforward beauty.
Ruth Leslie chose: Delphine Nardin, Long Flower Earrings
I love the combination of gold and sea glass in Delphine Nardin’s jewellery – the sea glass takes on a precious and refined quality, on top of the lovely story it tells. These earrings are playful in their movement as well as appearance.
Kirsty Sumerling chose: Susan Cross, Linen Print Studs
Patterns from thread and various textiles are captured in the silver creating unique patters in the silver. These studs are gently curved so that they catch the light when worn and the smaller round studs can be work with the larger sections or separate – two pairs of earrings in one!
Arran Semple chose: Matthew Draper, Nocturne with a Polluted Haar (part VI)
I love the delicate pastel marks that Matthew Draper uses to express a bleak and foreboding atmosphere against a dramatic backdrop that looms in the distance. The way he manages to capture and play with artificial light through blankets of fog and rain, to me, evoke windswept walks home through Edinburgh’s old town on a winter’s night.
Christina Jansen chose: Jane Keith, Cashmere Wispy Scarf
Jane’s superfine cashmere scarves are gorgeous – a unique painting which looks different every time it is worn as the pattern moves. The cashmere is beautiful to wear and it is a great travelling garment, both practical and special.
Lisa Muxworthy chose: Emily Sutton, September Dresser
Emily Sutton’s prints are all so wonderful, but I love the colour and vibrancy of this print, as well as it’s chaotic joy
Sophie Lawson chose: Christine McArthur, Owing to The Weather, I Painted Tulips
I really like all of Christine McArthur's big, colourful, collage still-lifes - but this one is slightly unusual. This painting also displays her beautiful and unique draughtsmanship as she has painted some of the paper with leaf-like veins to make the petals for the tulips.
Elizabeth Campbell chose: Jacqueline Ryan, Brooches
From our current exhibition On The Surface, these beautiful 18ct gold brooches by Jacqueline Ryan are some of my favourite pieces in the Gallery. I love the delicate piercing of the metal that creates an effect almost like an illustrative line drawing – these brooches are all such technical pieces to create but look deceptively simple. The warmth of the gold, along with the soft shaping of the metal, makes them such inviting and tactile pieces of jewellery.
Tommy Zyw chose: David Cook, Comfort
With the limited palette akin to Lowry, Cook captures the industrial landscape of Fife with the assurance of a painter immersed in his subject and a master of his technique.