A celebration of the seas is taking place with the opening of a new art exhibition at the Scottish Maritime Museum.
This show marks Scotland’s coastline at work, life and play.
The new exhibition, which is now on show at the Scottish Maritime Museum on the Harbourside in Irvine, is the first full showing for the Museum’s new art collection which features works by nationally and internationally renowned artists such as FCB Cadell, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Muirhead Bone, Kate Downie and John Bellany.
Capturing Scotland’s coastline at work, life and play, Maritime Perspectives: Collecting Art of a Seafaring Nation, features over 80 works gathered for the collection over the last three years through the SMMart project.
An ambitious project to create a nationally significant art collection to enrich the nationally recognised maritime heritage at the Museum, the SMMart project has been made possible by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures programme, with further support from Art Fund and the National Fund for Acquisitions.
Heritage Lottery Fund chief executive Ros Kerslake, North Ayrshire Provost Ian Clarkson, Scottish Maritime Museum Trust chair Vic Emery and exhibiting artists gathered at the museum for the launch.
David Mann, director of the Scottish Maritime Museum, said: ‘With the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures programme, Art Fund and the National Fund for Acquisitions, and the passion of our SMMart Committee, curator of art Fiona Greer and supporting staff and volunteers, we are delighted to unveil a vibrant, exciting and eclectic new art collection of national standing.
‘Visitors to the exhibition over the summer will discover a captivating collection of images interpreting Scotland’s fascinating seafaring life, from the heavy industries of oil and shipbuilding, war and loss through to tranquil scenes of fishing boats and travel posters promoting trips “doon the watter”.
‘The new collection brings a wonderful new perspective to our fascinating maritime heritage collection here at the Museum.
‘As well as the exhibition, we’re thrilled to announce a full programme of art-related events and activities running over the summer months. From artist talks and tours and life drawing through to children’s art clubs and etching, printmaking, photography workshops and more, there really is something for everyone.’
Maritime Perspectives: Collecting Art of a Seafaring Nation features the oldest painting acquired to date, On the Clyde painted by James Francis Williams in 1830, through to early 21st century pieces. Together, the works exploit a wide range of mediums from oil painting, watercolour, sketching and photography through to sculpture and mixed media.
As part of a new Art Fund RA250 programme celebrating works by Royal Academician artists, the exhibition also features a display of recently acquired works by William Lionel Wyllie RA including The Grand Fleet in the Firth of Forth after the Armistice.
Entrance to the exhibition is included in the Museum admission.
The Scottish Maritime Museum was established in 1983.