Staff Picks | Summer 202019 Aug 2020
The Scottish Gallery staff would like to share with you, on a weekly basis, a selection of our favourite pictures and objects that are in The Gallery's collection but are not always on display. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Several of the team had chosen David Cass as their staff pick this week and by coincidence David had also just given us a new studio insight film as a continuation of our Great Scots series. As lockdown eased across the UK during July 2020, David travelled back home to Stow, in the Borders, to spend a couple of weeks painting – taking film at intervals to chart his progress for us.
With each new project, Cass’ exploration into environmental themes deepens. His fifth exhibition, Rising Horizon in February 2019, made reference to sea rise, and was a direct step on from Pelàda (January 2017), zooming out from close examinations of Venice and its rising lagoon, to describe the abstract notion of a rising horizon line.
As lockdown eased across the UK during July 2020, David Cass travelled home to Stow, in the Borders, to spend a couple of weeks painting – taking film at intervals to chart his progress for us. In this short film we can enjoy a quiet look at Cass' working processes, transforming a collection of "everyday" vintage items into artworks.
Festival Staff Picks
christina jansen - kirsten coelho
I have always felt drawn to the abstract in art – the potential for understanding through an ambiguous and imperceptible type of knowing. Ceramic objects communicate on many levels and it is these possibilities of engagement and response that I find compelling. The intersection of form, colour, tone and light are the constant drivers.Kirsten Coelho
Kirsten Coelho will be the subject of a solo exhibition at The Gallery in August 2020. She was awarded the prestigious Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award in 2012 and in this short film below you can hear from Kirsten herself and catch a glimpse of her studio.
Guy Peploe - Duncan Shanks
Here we can see see the strength in drawing, the strength in colour that we associate so much with Duncan Shanks, and the spirit of Van Gogh...Guy Peploe
Enjoy the short film below as Guy Peploe discusses Flowers by Duncan Shanks in further detail.
This landscape became one of his great subjects. Looking at this painting you think of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Sunset Song - that ancient landscape with incredibly rich agricultural land.Guy Peploe
kirsty sumerling - michael becker
Michael is renowned for working predominantly in gold, which he combines with stones such as lapis lazuli, uvarovite and red mineral pigment. His exquisite small scale constructions are like sections of the landscape - each depicting nature's intricate, delicate details in miniature form.Kirsty Sumerling
Ruth Leslie - Yoko Izawa
The lightness of Yoko Izawa’s jewellery is beautifully contrasted with their sculptural nature - they really are like petals! Eye-catching yet delicate, Izawa’s bright colour palette suggests a botanical garden in the height of summer.
Tommy Zyw - Kate Downie
This scene captured by Kate Downie is familiar to many; a bleary eyed commute on Scotrail train, heading north or south across the Forth. The view looks out the train window, east towards the Forth Road Bridge, a portion of the heavy structure juxtaposed by the glowing pink and orange light of a winter’s morning.Tommy Zyw
July Staff Picks
Tommy Zyw - Peter Howson
Since the 1980s Peter Howson has established himself as one of the leading figurative painters of his generation. He was part of a wave of young figurative artists working in Glasgow who were engaged with both social and political themes. Many of his most memorable works feature gritty characters of working class Glasgow, where Howson was brought up from the age of three. This monumental woodcut The Heroic Dosser was created at the Glasgow Print Studio in 1987. At that time Howson had a studio at Gallowgate in the East end of Glasgow, close to a homeless hostel. A version of this woodcut is in the collection of the V&A and a painting of the same title is in the National Galleries collection.Tommy Zyw
Kirsty Sumerling - Anthony Bryant
Anthony Bryant's work always seems to speak of nature even when he stretches wood turning to the very limits - creating vessels with the thinnest of walls so that a piece with such volume remains wonderfully light.Kirsty Sumerling
guy peploe - J.D. Fergusson
I have chosen a drawing by J.D. Fergusson, Sailor at Portsmouth Docks. It is a strong, decisive, typical work made with a conté crayon describing a piece of the superstructure of a submarine and the reassuringly stolid figure of a sailor. Fergusson was not an official War artist but friends arranged for him to visit the Portsmouth dockyard in 1918 from which a number of startling, modern paintings arose as well as many drawings. Some of these are now housed in Museum collections.Guy Peploe
Enjoy the short film below as the National Galleries of Scotland discuss the life and work of Scottish Colourist J.D. Fergusson.
elizabeth jane campbell - Joe hogan
Elizabeth Jane Campbell has rediscovered the traditional baskets of the Irish artist, Joe Hogan.
I love the confidence and strength of these humble, beautifully made and practical baskets. Joe grows his own willow and specialises in both traditional and non-traditional baskets and for me, they define the word craft.
Joe Hogan was nominated for the LOEWE Foundation Craft Prize in 2018 and you can view the film that they created of Joe at work here.
tommy zyw - william armour
The image shows the scattered hamlet of Elgol on the south coast of Skye and displays all the best qualities of William Armour's printmaking, which is a romanticism if the Scottish landscape and an assurity of composition and line.Tommy Zyw
Born in Dumfriesshire, William Armour was the son of Hugh Armour and husband of Mary Armour. He attended Glasgow School of Art between 12918 & 1923 under Maurice Greiffenhagen and joined the staff of the school in 1947. He became head of drawing in 1955 and retired in 1957. who exhibited between 1929 and 1940. He showed 24 works at the Royal Scottish Academy, 3 at the Glasgow Institute and 5 at the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours.
Enjoy the short film below as Tommy Zyw discusses Evening at Elgol by William Armour, which features in Past & Present Print Masters.
christina jansen - Masaaki shibata & ane christensen
Christina Jansen says ‘we have been installing our summer exhibitions and I wanted to include an example by Masaaki Shibata, who exhibited with us in April, alongside the great British studio potter, Clive Bowen. We would like our gallery friends to be able to see examples of work by artists who exhibited with us during lockdown. This large round dish is an exceptional work of art. It has the most robust and satisfying shapes and the glazing is to die for. There is a purple blush which pools in the richest, warmest treacle glaze.'
The application of the slipware is beautiful, it’s like looking into a mirror – lots of hidden depths. It’s irresistible. I have been making homage visits to this dish which is currently sitting under an Elizabeth Blackadder cat, just to look at it. It’s simply stunning.
Ane Christensen grew up in Copenhagen and moved to London in 1993 to study a HND (Jewellery Design) at Sir John Cass Faculty of Art. She went on to work as an assistant for two designer silversmiths and completed her MA (Metalwork & Silversmithing) at the Royal College of Art, before establishing her practise in 1999. Her work is represented in several major museum collections including Victoria and Albert Museum, The Crafts Council UK, Koldinghus Museum DK, Museum for Decorative Art DK and the Goldsmiths’ Company. Ane lives and works in East London
Ane is concerned with negative and positive spaces as well as balance and chaos. She has young children and these pieces remind her of the daily juggle, where she is trying to balance everything in her life.Christina Jansen
June Staff Picks
Duncan Shanks is one of the preeminent artists working in Scotland today. He draws his subject and inspiration from his garden and the countryside around his home in the Clyde Valley. In his work strong colour and richly applied paint chart the changing seasons and the forces imminent in nature. He was the subject of a major exhibition at the Hunterian in Glasgow in 2015 entitled The Poetry of Place.
The wanderer, often accompanied by his dog, is a recurring motif in his work. This painting, Darkness Falls, shows a high field and tangled hedge bathed in sunlight as moon rises above the hill track heralding the incoming night.Tommy Zyw
Staff pot picks
This week, five of the gallery team have delved into The Gallery store and chosen a pot each for this week’s staff pots picks. The theme was on the small side as you can see in our short film clip below.
I love the kaleidoscopic abstract patterns that feature in David Pottinger’s work. David uses a locally sourced Australian-made soft paste porcelain, which he stains with oxides to create his chosen colour palette. Using the technique of Nerikomi, he then layers, cuts and re-joins these different coloured sections and the resulting surface patterns are quite literally a visual representation and log of this process.Kirsty Sumerling
Bodil Manz' cylinders are slip cast porcelain, which she decorated with geometrical patterns on both sides, applied with plain decals. The effect is a pattern on the one side, offset by a shadow of a related pattern on the other. They are so translucent, you can sometimes see the light pass through them.Lisa Muxworthy
The simple Moon Jar becomes a canvas for Adam Buick to explore his surroundings - combining natural stone, clay and minerals into his glazes to give amazing tactile and decorative surfaces.Elizabeth Jane Campbell
I love the relationship between pattern and form in Lara's work. The abstract outer pattern contrasts with the punch of colour glowing from within.Ruth Leslie
Segawa, who is from Japan and lives and works in London, is a highly skilled craftsman. He has over 100 glaze recipes and his pots are classical Japanese, Chinese and Korean forms. Hand thrown, hand turned and hand glazed – these are remarkable examples of craft at an affordable price.Christina Jansen
Jane Keith’s hand painted and printed cashmere shawls are a favourite. They are like wearing a painting and are incredibly useful. They keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The superfine cashmere is special and it’s all the in the detail; a counterpoint colour on the fringe and soft geometric shapes that look different every time you wear they are worn.
Click here to view available works by Jane Keith and view the short films below offering a chance to view the beautiful cashmere and angora wool scarves and a glimpse into Jane's studio and making process. Most recently, Jane has transferred her skills as a textile artist to assist in the mass production of over 5000 sets of gowns and other PPE for the NHS!
During the 1920s McCance was working as an artist and writer, reviewing for The Spectator and meeting many of the leading figures of the vibrant art and literary scene of post-War London. During this time he developed a style much indebted to the work of Wyndham Lewis and the Vorticists. This drawing was made in 1930 just before McCance took up his position with the Gregynog Press in Wales.
William McCance was born in Glasgow and studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1911 – 1915. He married a fellow student Agnes Miller Parker in 1918 and moved to London in 1920 (Agnes was later to become of the UK’s most prominent wood engravers).
Enjoy the short film below as Ben Harman, curator of Contemporary Art at Glasgow Museums, looks at the way artists respond to the subject of war and conflict and references the work of William McCance towards the end of the film.
Elizabeth Jane Campbell
I love the bold geometric patterns used by James and Tilla Waters in their tableware. Their colour palette and simple style really appeals to me – anything with a pop of orange is an instant hit for me!
All of their tableware is hand thrown on the wheel, ensuring each and every piece feels nice in the hand, works well and looks great.
This painting by Amy Dennis is part of our current Great Scots exhibition. Amy’s work is bold and graphic and is a unique way of depicting the scenes us Edinburgh locals see so regularly. This one of Leith Docks is right on my studio doorstep! I love the dramatic variety of natural and urban landscapes in Edinburgh, which Amy captures so well.
Some of my favourite work by Charles Simpson features heavy weather. Squall featured in his recent exhibition and I am very surprised it is still available. In the painting Simpson captures the drama of an approaching storm above a dark sea, a band of golden light transects the composition, signalling the setting sun over Sgur of Eigg. Haste me back!
I’ve always loved these, the idea of having something so delicate grow on a piece of art, itself becoming part of the sculpture, making it all the more beautiful. Andrea is so talented and this set of 5 stakes makes a perfect addition to any garden, including ours here at The Gallery
Christina has chosen Yuta Segawa's incredible miniature pots, click here to see more example of his work.
The Gallery hosted a miniaturist exhibition in 2016 and we introduced the work of Yuta Segawa to The Gallery with an installation of 300 miniature pots. A beautiful sight and an administrative nightmare! They are so addictive.
Segawa, who is from Japan and lives and works in London is a highly skilled craftsman. He has over 100 glaze recipes and his pots are classical Japanese, Chinese and Korean forms. Hand thrown, hand turned and hand glazed – these are a remarkable examples of craft at an affordable price. I have given numerous pots as presents and I have a 21 piece garniture in my bathroom. I love them.
The Ginkgo Leaf brooches from Malcolm Appleby depict these beautiful, delicate leaves in silver – almost silk like in their texture and the play of light on their surface. Small gold beads almost appear as a droplet of water glinting in the sunlight.