Ewan McClure | Solid Space

18 Jun 2020

My offerings for the The Great Scots exhibition come from a growing body of work, destined for a solo exhibition at The Kirkcudbright Gallery.

Back in January, with only a few months to fill the gallery space and a dauntingly open brief, I decided to channel my output by measuring the gallery walls and pre-planning a symmetrical hang. I I didn’t yet know what subjects I’d tackle, but settled on the number and sizes of canvases to prepare

Ewan McClure | Solid Space

With 30 blank canvases ready, but conflicting ideas about where to start, It dawned on me that I could capitalise on this framework to bring a unifying logic to the room. By knowing the height at which each prospective painting would hang, I could set up each subject accordigly - at, or below eye level. I proceeded to work in sequence, relating each composition to its neighbour.

Working with something like an ’altar-piece’ mentality, I conceived each painting to be able to stand independently, but also fit as part of a larger group.

Here’s a glimpse of is the work so far…

Ewan McClure | Solid Space

Mid-point diversion

While the simple, unifying concept has kept me reasonably focussed this year, I thought the exhibition might benefit from something slightly out-of-kilter.

For the large centre painting of wall number three, I’ve let myself be lured off-course by an alternative approach, suggested by this piece by the American painter, Quang Ho.

Ewan McClure | Solid Space
Quang Ho | Your Planet, oil on board,

I was struck how the use of a bird’s-eye view offered an intriguing exploration of shallow space and form, aligned with the picture plane. Knowing that Quang Ho paints from life, I was curious to know how he set up his subject.

My first thought was that he could have arranged objects on the floor or a tabletop and used an angled mirror for an upright view, as below.

Ewan McClure | Solid Space

Whether or not my intuition was correct (it wan’t - he actually glued the trash to a board alongside his easel) I was keen to experiment with this contraption. Here’s my current work in progress

Ewan McClure | Solid Space
Viewfinder, oil on canvas, laid on board (work in progress)

Click here to view available works by Ewan McClure

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