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I'm an arts journalist & PR consultant living and working in Scotland. I've been a journalist for more than 25 years. I write a regular column for Scottish quality newspaper, The Herald. I deliver a PR service with an arty bent and work on a consultancy basis with arts organisations, including Scotland's leading creative industries festival, XpoNorth & broadcast support body, ScreenHI. I am currently co-writing a book about the celebrated Scots artist, George Wyllie, with his daughter Louise. Instrumental in making a celebration of his life's work happen in 2012. For more information, see www.georgewyllie.com When I'm not being a mum/working, I talk to my dog. He laps it up. Contact me on janpatience@me.com (All work © Jan Patience)

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Gallery Round Up - published in The Herald 4/12/10

Flock by Lizzie Farey @ The City Art Centre, Edinburgh


City Art Centre
2 Market Street, Edinburgh
0131 529 3993
Until February 27, 2011
Dumfriesshire based willow artist Lizzie Farey is one of the UK’s leading exponent of this ancient art. Her new collection of work, The Spirit of Air, a collaborative project with Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries which has been funded by a Scottish Arts Council Creative Development Award, features large scale wall-based and suspended works.
This new solo exhibition in Edinburgh represents a fresh direction for a highly original artist, away from closely woven pieces towards much lighter forms where she is, as she puts it, ‘drawing with willow in the air’.
Based just outside Castle Douglas, Farey is unique in that she grows, harvests and prepares almost all her raw material. Her dexterous manipulation of willow, hazel and ash is evident in these beguiling works which have evolved from more readily identifiable forms such as baskets and sculptures. She explains: “The work has come from a journey that I have been making: travelling away from the more intense, closely woven pieces that I have produced in the past, towards a more lighter, aerial direction, using willow as a medium for drawing in air.”
In conjunction with this exhibition, Lizzie Farey will deliver two willow master classes; one on Saturday January 15 and another on Saturday February 26. For more details, contact the City Arts Centre.

RGI Kelly Gallery
118 Douglas Street, Glasgow
0141 248 6386
Until December 18
As it prepares to celebrate its 150th year in the business of promoting Scottish artists, venerable Glasgow-based arts co-operative, the Royal Glasgow Institute, was as cutting edge as Glasgow PodcART when it first started up.
Every year, artists who have exhibited at past RGI annual exhibitions, including those whose work was showcased at the organisations’ recent annual exhibition at The Mitchell in Glasgow, are invited to submit work to the postcard exhibition.
While the art may fit through a post box, the brief is broad as the artists are not required to adhere to a Christmas theme. Titles of this year’s postcards range from the seasonal Christmas Fairy 2010 by Claire Harrigan RSW, and Hey you with the Smudgy Nose by Denise Findlay, through to Summer Moon by Stuart Buchanan and Rosetti’s Madonna by Marj Bond RSW.
At £250 for each postcard, art enthusiasts have the opportunity to buy an affordable piece of art by artists such a Patricia Cain winner of both the 2010 Aspect Prize the 2010 Threadneedle Prize, Glen Scouller RSW RGI, and Neil MacPherson, the most recent RGI.
Blair Thomson, who has participated in several postcard exhibitions states: “I enjoy the challenge of having to work on a small scale as you can have fun playing around with different materials and trying out different things.
“My postcard for this year is a mixed media piece called Watergate, Tokyo, which is ink and oil pastel on board. It is based semi-abstractly on this mysterious city river structure at the side of the Sumidagawa River, the Tokyo version of the Thames I guess.”

Taylors Auctions
Brent Avenue, Montrose
0771 4368203
Until December 15

Following on from his hugely successful exhibition at the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh last year, it is well worth catching this solo exhibition by Kincardineshire-based artist David Cook before it ends. Cook’s paintings are dripping with the drama and grit of the north east land and seascapes among which he lives and works.
This new solo exhibition, in the inspired setting of Taylors Auction Rooms in Montrose, has been curated by local artist/curator Kim Canale of Wall Projects, a long-time admirer of Cook’s art.
Working from his shore side cottage, Seagreens, in the village of St Cyrus, Cook paints intuitively by day and by moonlight. His paintings are bold, bright, atmospheric and captivating and never dulled by repetition.
At the insistence of his father, Fife-born Cook learned his trade as a brick-layer (painting at night all the while) before finally being allowed to achieve his dream of going to art school.
At Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee, he was tutored by Alberto Morrocco, a hugely influential figure who instilled in him a profound understanding of, and competence in, traditional life drawing.

Cook went on to win The James Guthrie Award at The Royal Scottish Academy in 1985 and today, he ‘lives as near to the sea as is possible without getting your feet wet,’ His bricklaying past still plays a part in his artistic life and he often works outside, creating sculptures from driftwood, metal, cement and concrete in his rambling seashore garden.
Working by the mantra that a painting should be meditated upon, ‘not analysed to death’, this visceral work will catapult the weariest of souls back into Technicolor life.

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