Work by Christine Woodside
Work by Christine Woodside

First exhibitions of 2020 revealed by Open Eye

The Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh has revealed the first of its exhibitions for 2020.

The gallery, based in the New Town, has been running for 30 years and holds 32 exhibitions per year focusing on contemporary and applied art.

The first exhibitions for the year are:

Jonathan Gibbs, Paintings, Drawings and Wood Engravings, 10 January – 3 February.

The Open Eye Gallery opens the year with an exhibition of paintings, drawings and wood engravings by Edinburgh College of Art Programme Director of Illustration, Jonathan Gibbs.

Gibbs will exhibit a series of paintings in which he depicts form and space with allusions to landscape and objects. These symbolic paintings employ overlapping structures, planes and ambiguities of space to create particular harmonies. Alongside the paintings, Gibbs’ new wood engravings present representational imagery with a more graphic sensibility. Pattern, line and shape are used to depict forms in nature, as well as interior compositions and variations of the still life.

Gibbs was born in 1953 and studied at the Lowestoft School of Art, London, and the Slade School of Art, London. Gibbs took the Cheltenham Painting Fellowship in 1978 and has since been an art college lecturer. He taught at the Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology, Bath College of Higher Education, and the University of Middlesex as a part-time lecturer until 1990, at which time he was appointed lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art.

Gibbs’ work has been selected for the John Moores Exhibition, Liverpool, the Royal Academy, London, the Hayward Gallery, London, Royal Scottish Academy and the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art. Gibbs has illustrated the Collected Poems of Robert Frost for the Folio Society, London, and has made additional book designs and illustrations for Faber & Faber, Penguin, Picador and Random House. His works have been purchased by the UK Government Art Collection; the Arts Council of Great Britain; the Scottish Arts Council, Leicestershire, Suffolk, Loudoun and Kilmarnock Councils; and private collections in the UK, USA, Singapore and Hong Kong.

A collection of works from selected ECA Alumni taught by Jonathan will be showcased alongside.

Christine Woodside RGI RSW, 7 February – 2 March.

Work by Christine Woodside

A leader of the diverse school of contemporary Scottish art, Christine Woodside has gained acclaim for her distinctive style of landscape painting. Her exhibition at the Open Eye Gallery includes recent paintings depicting the surrounding countryside to her home in Fife and paintings influenced by her travels abroad.

Developing on the rich palette, representational naivety and textural gesture of the Scottish Colourists, Woodside portrays the Scottish countryside with a delicate attention to the ever-changing weather and seasons. Also taking influence from further afield, the bright colours and textural interplay of her work derives from her early travels in North Africa. Woodside’s work is often filled with joyous optimism, revelling in the form and colour of the landscape.

Woodside studied fine art at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, graduating in 1963. In 1966 she won the David Murray Scholarship for Landscape painting and in 1968 the Hospitalfield Scholarship. She continued to paint in watercolour whilst bringing up her young family in the 1970s and 80s.

In 1993 she was elected member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour, and in 1995 she won the Teachers Whisky Travel Scholarship at the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts. This major award allowed her to visit North Africa, which was to have a significant influence on her work in subsequent years. She has exhibited regularly since 1996 in Edinburgh and London and in 1999 she was elected as a member of the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Art. Her work is held in public and private collections in the UK.

Carola Gordon, 7 February – 2 March

Art by Carola Gordon

In celebration of her 80th year, the Open Eye Gallery presents a retrospective exhibition of Gordon’s works. Spanning 60 years this show will include a variety of never-seen before paintings and colourful textile collages from her student years in Edinburgh and South Africa alongside the Edinburgh colonies, allotments, and interior views of which she is known for.

Carola Gordon was born in Lucknow in India in 1940 and was educated between 1948 and 1961 at school and university in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa where she graduated in English and Fine Art. Between 1961 and 1963 she studied for English Tripos at New Hall, Cambridge and from 1963 to 1965 she attended Edinburgh College of Art where she studied Drawing and Painting. In 1966 she returned to South Africa, but then moved to Scotland and settled in 1977 when she began to work full time as an artist producing watercolours and oil paintings.

Gordon exhibits regularly in Scotland at the Open Eye Gallery and with the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour, the Society of Scottish Artists and Craftsmen and Visual Arts Scotland. Her work is held in private collections in Scotland, England, USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and South Africa and her awards include the Lily MacDougall Award and Martin and Frost Award. Public collections include the City Art Centre in Edinburgh, the New Hall in Cambridge and Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburgh, South Africa.

Ruth Brownlee, 7 – 29 February.

A Ruth Brownlee painting

New paintings by Ruth Brownlee exploring the visual drama and rugged environment of the Shetland Isles. The islands have been home to Ruth since 1998 which becomes clear in her vivid execution of the landscape, there is a strong balance between an intense knowledge and understanding of the scenery, as well as an openness and acceptance of the ever changing environment and it’s overwhelming control of those who live and own the land. The ability to capture serene moments contrasted with daunting and vast skylines, place her work as some of the most desirable impressions of the Shetland Isles.

Born close to Edinburgh in 1972, Ruth graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1994 with a BA Hons in Drawing and Painting/Tapestry. In 1998 she moved to Shetland to concentrate on her painting which has been acknowledged on many occasions since, including being elected finalist for the Gilchrist- Fisher Memorial Award for Landscape Painters in 2002, Visual Artist award, Hi-Arts Highland and Island Visual Arts in 2003 and the Shetland Arts Development, Visual Arts Grant Award in 2012.

The exhibitions will take place at the Open Eye Gallery, 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE. Opening times: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-4pm.