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All looking good! – Spring 2021

Hi there from a decidedly cool and blustery Irvine Harbourside. I’ve just arrived here at my studio and it looks quite dramatic outside with heavy dark shower clouds rushing in over the Firth of Clyde and the mountains of Arran snow covered and looking very wintery. There are a few bursts of sunshine and patches of blue sky and so everything here looks beautiful this morning. I feel very lucky living here in Irvine and having my studio in such a fine location. It all makes for a very good start to a working day.

 

‘A winter view, Arran from across the Firth of Clyde’

 

Anyway, there’s quite a lot to bring you up to date with since my last blog back at the end of October. At that time I was rather nervously looking forward to seeing Richard Butchins’ documentary, “Disordered Eye” in which my work was to be included. It was a little worrying in the lead up to the film being screened as it was almost a year since we met Richard and his team to do the filming and I couldn’t really remember what I had said. I shouldn’t have worried though as the documentary was really well produced and received and if I had said anything daft they did a great job of editing! It certainly helped generate a lot of new interest in my work after what has been a tough couple of years and it was a real privilege being invited to take part

‘The Buachaille, a freezing January afternoon’

Of course, back in October last year, I was also still hoping that the exhibition planned for the Barony Centre this March would go ahead. I guess that I was being rather too optimistic, especially with how the pandemic was developing here in Britain, but I had to get as much work ready as possible, just in case we could go ahead. Sadly though, at the start of January we had to take the decision to cancel the show and with the latest lockdown coming into effect shortly afterwards, this proved the right thing to do. We are hoping that we might be able to rearrange the exhibition for 2022, but in the meantime Drew and Graham have been working very hard putting together a digital version of the exhibition including a selection of my more recent paintings and drawings, along with three of our “audio paintings”. The exhibition is called, “Painting with Sound – Exploring the Wild” and it is in the form of a video. We hope that it will give a good sample of the work planned for the live exhibition. The video, which lasts around 75 minutes, is on our Youtube channel and the link below will take you to it. This is the first time that any of our finished “audio paintings” have gone live. The soundtracks and paintings try to capture something of the experience of being in these wild places; perhaps sitting down for a while and simply allowing yourself to become immersed in your surroundings. Our landscapes are created over thousands, indeed millions of years by extremely slow-acting natural forces and processes, so don’t be too hasty and reach for the fast forward button …..just relax back in your chair and listen. We hope that you enjoy the experience:
https://youtu.be/oOUvhjP_XZQ

 

I had a really interesting experience myself earlier this year when I was invited by disabled writer / performer Jamie Hale, to take part in a live panel discussion about the arts and disability. The panel included artists working in very different artforms, all of whom are affected by disability issues. The event was funded and hosted by the Wellcome Trust and it made for very interesting listening. It reminded me, (if ever I needed reminding) just how important it is for the arts to be, like all aspects of life, fully inclusive. A good and positive note on which to finish this blog. Follow the link to watch the hour-long discussion:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05FHt752O2E 

I am still very much in business despite the current pandemic, so if you are interested in any of the work shown on the website, do please contact me and we can take it from there.

‘Hill near Glen Finnan’, Graphite on paper, 2019