Thursday, 6 November 2008

Review - The Galloway News

Gail Kelly & Bella Green

A review of our current exhibition with artists Bella Green, Gail Kelly, Philomena Pretsell and Mike Turpie was published today in The Galloway News.

Here's the Review:

Multi Media Art Exhibition

A dynamic quartet of artists are showing their work this month at McGill Duncan Gallery in Castle Douglas. The artists are all working in diverse mediums from ceramics to lithographic printmaking and oils but the show as a whole is a vibrant celebration of colour and life.

From her home in Mid Lothian Ceramicist Philomena Pretsell recently made a research trip to New York City. There she was able to immerse herself in street art and the work of nameless graffiti artists. This made her reflect on the way artists can bring joy and life to even the greyest of spaces. Philomena says, “These are Pots of joy in a grey world. Contemplative in a way that stimulates the mind to ask questions they are often ironic; they can invite a smile at those assumptions made in our ordinary lives.” Although her medium is clay the pots almost look like they could jump, dance or sing if they wanted to: she has captured the frenetic creative energy of New York and thrown it back at us with more than a touch of irony spun into the clay.

For Northern Ireland artist Gail Kelly, her lithographs for this exhibition are largely based on an inspirational trip round Galloway. Earlier this year Gail visited the region during the Spring Fling open studio event and while touring round the studios she was captivated by the landscape. This new work was born out of her yearlong association with the McGill Duncan Gallery in Castle Douglas as she often visits to bring her work over from Northern Ireland. Jill says, “In the past year we have had many artists come to stay with us and it is wonderful to see the inspiration they get from our beautiful Galloway landscapes.”

Bella Green lives and paints locally in Eskdalemuir and also in Tuscany where she teaches. She produces works in oils using rich vivid colours to respond to light, heat or a time of day. Her energetic and spontaneous landscapes show impressions of places in Scotland and Italy. Her Still life paintings convey the pattern and design of domestic life with a decorative almost rhythmic approach as in Birthday or Red Blind.
When Bella described her technique she said, “Sometimes I work quickly and freely and at other times a more considered and contemplative method feels right.” Bella’s energy and enjoyment of her surroundings are obvious in her work, no more so than in the two paintings of the Red and Blue shoes she wears to dance the Tango!

Bold brushwork and colours that almost take your breath away are hallmarks of Mike’s large oil paintings. He describes his work as “new expressionism”. He captures atmospheric effects and the beauty and drama of the skies whether painting in Scotland or South America. His style has proved very popular with buyers in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In contrast to his painting, Mike’s etchings of Edinburgh and the Borders evoke the exactness of landmark buildings and hills using a variety of tones and textures.

From Graffiti in New York to tango dancing or trekking in the wilds of South America or Scotland, the pictures and ceramics for sale at McGill Duncan Gallery offer a varied and exciting view of the world.

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