2021 in Pictures20 Dec 2021
Gallery Highlights from 2021
2021 began with a national lockdown announcement on 4th January. Despite this setback, we had an incredible 4 months behind the scenes working harder than ever on behalf of the artists we represent and for you. We are grateful to all our contemporary artists who remained on course with their exhibition commitment, despite the absence of audience.
Philip Braham’s Closer to Home opened in January and was later given a public exhibition at Perth Museum & Art Gallery. Being shut offered different possibilities and with the use of virtual technology, we were able to install several exhibitions in February and March: Pat Douthwaite On The Edge, Amanda Simmons and Lise Bech Two Hemispheres, David Michie Studio Insights, Michelle Currie Gravity, David Cook Earth Shaker, Lara Scobie Grapphica, Shelby Fitzpatrick Chain Reaction and Michael McVeigh A Sense of Place.
We used film, audio and imaging to reimagine The Gallery whilst continuing to produce publications and work full steam ahead. Our online events saw record numbers and became a hub for Meeting our Artists and finding out more about our gallery history. We continued to share insights into artists practice via our YouTube channel and social media; and our Matterport allowed virtual local and global visitors to visit our exhibitions and take themselves on tours of The Gallery every month.
During the Easter Weekend, Anthony Baxter’s BAFTA awarded film Eye of the Storm debuted on BBC2. This sensitive documentary on the life and work of one of our longest serving landscape painters James Morrison was met with great critical acclaim and a national, emotional outpouring. The interest in James Morrison caused our website to crash as thousands took to our site to find out more about his life and career. It was the high point of another long lockdown.
In May we opened the doors to the public again.
Another Time, Another Place was a triumphant collaborative exhibition between an artist and a poet - 12 paintings by Victoria Crowe and 12 poems by Christine de Luca which were inspired by them. Another Time, Another Place resonated with the public and the exhibition was seen as a triumph of the human spirit.
As we moved into summer we were thrilled that Lucy Ellman featured Paul Scott's brilliant exhibition Scenery, Samplers and Souvenirs in The Guardian's Cultural Highlights. Kate Downie's Between Seasons centered around ten paintings that could be viewed through 180 degrees - and Kate kindly came to The Gallery and allowed us to stream the ceremonial rotation of the work on more than one occasion through the exhibition's run! Between Seasons was the second exhibition of 2021 to be subsequently put on public display - this time at Gracefield Art Centre in Dumfries.
Lachlan Goudie launched the first of two exhibitions to be hosted at The Gallery delving into his father Alexander Goudie's prolific career. The exhibition attracted great reviews including a double page spread in The Times. We also finally created a room of dreams, celebrating the life and work of the incomparable Wendy Ramshaw.
In August, The Gallery celebrated the Centenary of Joan Eardley as part of our Edinburgh Art Festival partnership. Joan Eardley is one of the nations most loved artists and as a result, we had unexpected and overwhelming visitor numbers. We enjoyed over 300 visitors to our The Gallery every day – patient fans queued patiently to see over 40 paintings, drawings and pastels from her chief subjects of Townhead and Catterline. The exhibition also included a specially commissioned tapestry by Dovecot Studios.
The second part of our mega Edinburgh Art Festival presentation was a collaboration with Dovecot Studios as we presented Jock McFadyen's Lost Boat Party, celebrating the artist's 70th year, and his deep roots in Scotland.
In the Autumn Guy Peploe paid tribute to his grandfather, Scotland’s first modernist, in S. J. Peploe’s Studio Life at 150 – which provided a rare opportunity to see unseen family drawings and paintings next to some of S. J. Peploe’s masterpieces.
In October we also opened Elizabeth Blackadder Favourite Flowers at The Garden Museum in London. The exhibition had originally been planned for February 2021, but was postponed due to Covid. During the six month delay Elizabeth Blackadder sadly died, and so Favourite Flowers marked the first Memorial exhibition to celebrate her life and art.
Applied arts are a vital component of The Gallery and in November, Akiko Hirai’s exhibition in partnership with her husband and rug weaver Jason Collingwood was testimony to breathtaking craftmanship.
The year finished with a message reinforcing the importance of emerging talent – with Hannah Mooney’s Into the Landscape as a shining example, and Pinning our Hopes: a specially commissioned series of pins made by a variety of artists who responded to the word hope – this little message ‘Pinning our Hopes’ is currently resonating through social media channels like a message in a bottle.
We thank all our artists who make The Gallery a sanctuary of art and we thank everyone who has supported us in 2021.