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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)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Peter Graham, Rowena Comrie & Kilmorack Gallery

Gallery round up
From The Herald Arts section (26/11/11)
Peter Graham
Roger Billcliffe Gallery
134 Blythswood Street , Glasgow 
0141 332 4027 
From today until Dec 24
Fifth and Madison by Peter Graham (£8,500)

If anyone was looking for an escape from what the poet William Dunbar called the ‘dark and drublie’ days of a Scottish winter, then Peter Graham’s paintings offer it up by the palette-load. 
There are four themes in this new exhibition of work by painter Graham at Roger Billcliffe’s Glasgow city centre gallery; the south of France, Manhattan, café interiors, and still lifes. All are rendered in his distinctive vibrant approach to depicting the world he sees around him.
Graham attended Glasgow School of Art from 1976-1980 and it was there that his fascination with colour developed. He studied the mechanics of illusion and the brainʼs response to colour and then, following a successful career in film production, he began painting full-time in1986. 
From 1994–1996 he served on the now defunct Scottish Arts Council as Advisor for the Visual Arts. In 1999, when still an associate of The Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI), he won the Windsor and Newton Award for non-members. Shortly after this, he was elected to full membership of the ROI. 
Graham has also written extensively on art theory and practice, an oeuvre which includes his bestselling book, Painting Still Life. Following a series of prominent exhibitions in London, Scotland and New York, Peter served for a period as Vice-President of the Royal Institute of Oil 
Painters and now lives and works in Glasgow, dividing his time between painting in his Greek Thomson-designed home cum studio and travelling the world.
One of the key events which shaped him as an artist is winning a British Council Award in 1990 as the first UK painter to become Artist in Residence at The Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Singapore.
There is a beguiling fluidity to Graham’s work coupled with searing colour which at times sees it veering into abstraction. But look closely at the patterns and shapes which start to emerge and you find an almost editorial directness.
Rowena Comrie: Spring Line
Hughson Gallery, 1 Cleveden Gardens, Glasgow
0141 334 2473
November 30 - December 18

Eye Splice by Rowena Comrie
Pure colour is the key ingredient of Rowena Comrie’s bold, yet subtle abstract paintings, which zing with clarity and pack a powerful, almost lyrical, punch. Comrie was trained in abstract art by Mali Morris, Clyde Hopkins and, although at the end of his teaching career, Terry Frost in the Art Department of Reading University.
Although a talented draughtswoman, through her abstract artwork, Comrie attempts to express the hidden depths of feelings that lie buried in us all and in so doing, reduces shapes and colour down to delicate life forces in their own right.
The tension between colour and shapes is always on the table in a Rowena Comrie painting, offering the viewer both an immediate spontaneous response and considered intellectual reflection.
Gallery director, Joan Hughson, who is staging this exhibition in her home gallery in Glasgow’s west end, first saw Comrie’s work when she was a finalist in the last ever Aspect Prize.

“I first encountered Rowena’s work in January at the Fleming Collection in London where she exhibited along with the other three finalists,” says Hughson, an experienced curator with a long pedigree in the scottish arts scene.
“I found the strong, emotive power of her colour very compelling,” she adds. “and before long we were in conversation.”
Comrie moved to Glasgow from Aberdeen in 2009, and now works from a studio at the WASPS complex in the Briggait.

Sailing on the Firth of Clyde has been a major source of experience which has fed into her art in recent months, and it is no accident that nautical vocabulary has supplied titles for most of the works in this exhibition. She explains: “The work is a response to the extreme weather and exhilarating conditions that occurred, in particular sailing through the night.”
Kilmorack Gallery Christmas Show
Kilmorack Gallery
by Beauly, Inverness-shire
01463 783230
Until December 23
Look dad... a lizard at the end of the rainbow... Kilmorack Gallery 

If you are lost and looking for the Kilmorack Gallery (which lies 13 miles west of Inverness and three miles from Beauly) the advice from its owner, Tony Davidson is ‘look for the lizard’.
The lizard – an artwork by gallery favourite Helen Denerley – has become the Kilmorack’s trademark and has set the bar high for a feast of artastic delights.

The Christmas exhibition at Kilmorack is always an enlightening affair but this year, there are some surprises in store.
Russian born Eduard Bersudsky is new to the gallery. He is best known for the mechanical theatre Sharmanka, which tells of Bersudsky’s dark and blackly comical experiences of life in communist Russia. They are tales of sex, death and corruption, told by a mechanical raven and a series of carved wooden animals.
The well-established Aberdeen-based figurative artist, Joyce W Cairns is also new to Kilmorack. Cairns draws from her experiences of the fishing villages of Aberdeenshire as well as her father and grandfather’s experiences of war.
This show also provides a glimpse of what is to come at Kilmorack in 2012. David Cook, who lives just north of Montrose on Scotland’s east coast, is another new artist to Kilmorack and he, along with Edinburgh-based Henry Fraser, will form the first exhibition of 2012.
According to Davidson, Cook’s work is something to see. “It follows in the painterly path set by Joan Eardley,” he says. “His landscapes and flower paintings in this show are remarkable.”
In addition, there are ten new collages by Colin Brown, a series of bright horse paintings by Kirstie Cohen, painted angels by landscape artist Claire Harkess and new work by Helen Denerley.
There is also work by two of Davidson’s favourite artists; the confusingly twin-named named Alan Macdonald and Allan MacDonald. Their work, he says, is very different. “One is surreal and Rembrandt-like, while the other produces loose powerful landscapes.”

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