Scots actor’s artistic work is set to go on show

Two professional artists who have been good friends for more than 50 years are finally holding their first exhibition together.

John Atkinson, who has lived in Diss in South Norfolk, for 20 years and his Scots friend Charles Jamieson, will exhibit around 40 of their latest paintings at The Corn Hall, Diss from April 2 to May 7.

Charles, who is based in Ayrshire, is also an actor, having appeared in Ruari Galbraith in Scottish Television’s Take the High Road.

He said: ‘It’s exciting. “We met through my girlfriend, who later became my wife. Sally is a graphic designer and knew John through work. We often found ourselves at the same dinner parties, got on well and ended up having dinners with each other on a regular basis.

‘We were living in London at the time and then moved to Scotland. We stayed in touch but didn’t see each other for some years.

‘We knew John had moved to a small town in Norfolk and when we visited cousins of Sally’s in Suffolk we realised we were close to Diss where John and Juliette ran a deli. We arranged to visit and a friendship was rekindled. John took us to The Corn Hall and almost at once we thought it would be fun to exhibit together.

‘I was to do paintings of Suffolk and John would do paintings of Norfolk and portraits. I had many plans to visit parts of Suffolk over a twelve month period. We visited Southwold and Walberswick and then Covid happened and all travel ground to a halt. Dates for the exhibition were postponed more than once but we thought it was worth hanging on because we still wanted to do it.’

Charles Jamieson, MFA, PAI, PPAI graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1974, winning a travelling scholarship. He also gained a scholarship from TCU in Fort Worth Texas and studied and taught there from 1974 to 1976 gaining a Master of Fine Arts degree. Through his college years he was also involved in acting and on returning to this country joined the theatre.

Ferry Walberswick by Charles Jamieson

For 20 years acting and designing were his main source of income subsidising his painting. After a six year run in the Take the High Road, the paintings suddenly began to sell.

A solo show in Duncan R Miller Fine Art’s gallery in Hampstead heralded a break in his career. Since then he has exhibited widely. For three years he was president of the Paisley Art Institute. He was also co-founder and chair of The Aspect Prize which, in its eight year run, was a major prize for Scottish painting, helping launch the careers of several well known painters.

In 2009 he had a book of photographs of Glasgow published by Frances Lincoln Ltd. His work is in collections across the world including: Aspect Capital Ltd, Ernst & Young, Prudential, R.I.C.S, John Le Carré, Harry Enfield, Keeley Hawes and Caledonian Breweries.

Find out more about his work at www.charlesjamieson.co.uk

John studied at Coventry College of Art in the sixties. Winning a scholarship to Hochscule fur Bildende Kunste Braunschweig, Germany, a part of the Bauhaus movement (The Braunschweig University of Art is the second largest college of fine arts in Germany). He started his own design studio in London which he ran until 2003 when he decided to concentrate full time on drawing and painting. Find out more about his work at www.johnatkinson-artist.com