Two shows are opening tomorrow at The Fine Art Society in Edinburgh.
The first is an exhibition of Scottish landscape paintings by Victoria Orr Ewing (b.1962). Her pictures depict remote crofts and unsullied vistas of Galloway, the Highlands and the west coast of Scotland all dwarfed by churning, luminescent skies.
Galloway-born Orr Ewing lived and painted in Andalucia for sixteen years, drawn to its wild landscapes and changing light. On her return to Britain this emphasis remained in her art, emboldened by the dark, complex hues of Scotland’s weather.
Orr Ewing paints primarily in oil on large-scale canvas, mostly from sketches done in front of the
subject and often finished from memory. She joins a long tradition of Scottish landscape painters that began with Alexander Nasmyth in the late 18th century.
By capturing nature’s overwhelming power and Scotland’s underpopulated landscape, Orr Ewing uses the scale of her pictures to envelope the viewer.
She said: ‘I would like my work to express our vulnerability in the face of the vastness of nature, to feel small and yet be a part of it.
‘I also intend it to be about hope, the melancholy of place and hope in the future. The sunlight in the distance or breaking through the clouds. A remote house against the large sky, a road or fence suggests to me our ephemeral nature and fragility.’
The second is Quietude, the first exhibition in Scotland of work by British contemporary artist Emma Alcock (b.1968).
Her oil paintings of isolated objects within graduated colour fields act as ‘an aid to contemplation’ (Julian Spalding, 2017).
The representational aspect of Alcock’s work is balanced by areas of semi-abstraction within her compositions, this creates images that are unfamiliar yet familiar, generating a sense of stillness and quietude.
Building thin layers of oil paint, Alcock’s pictures have an inner luminosity which creates an interplay of light and materiality. Shadow, reflection and silhouetted objects are given equal weight within abstracted sections.
Divided planes and soft outlines give depth to Alcock’s flattened scenes, gesturing towards depictions of window frames and interior walls.
The work in this exhibition divides between representation and abstraction – detailed still lifes are offset by minimalist circles and rectangles in isolation, each with an expert palatte of complementary tones and colours.
Both exhibitions run from 15 March–6 April, at the Fine Art Society, located at 6 Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6HZ.
Click HERE for more details.