Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Dumfries & Galloway Standard Review

A review of our current exhibition appeared in Dumfries and Galloway Standard. You can read it online here.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Another World

Yesterday I went to see Another World at the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh.

I really enjoyed the way the exhibition had been curated, with each room in chronological order. Dadaism started the show and the effects of World War 1 on the artists, was explored.

The specially built library room lined with a surrealist book collection, owned by the artist Roland Penrose and holding several really interesting Dada publications was one of my favourite parts of the exhibtion. It held shelves of fascinating objects from Lee Miller and Roland Penrose's collection and there was piano music playing, making it feel like a little world completely removed from the rest of the exhibition space.

The evolution of Surrealism followed, and there was a room devoted to British surrealists. I have to say that I felt the British surrealists really couldn't compete with Dali, Magritte, Miro and Ernst and the British Surrealist room felt very weak in comparison to the rest of the exhibition.

The curators take you on a very comprehensive journey and you leave with a better understanding of how the surrealist movement came to be and the fascinating people (with fascinating lives) who were part of it.

The title of the exhibtion reminded me of the beautiful song Another World by Antony and the Johnsons, so I thought I would share it with you.

We walked to the Dean Gallery along the Water of Leith and I'd highly recommend that for a pleasant stroll. Edinburgh was looking glorious and we were lucky to have a warm sunny day in the city.

Paul Young Pottery @ Christmas

I'm delighted to say that the potter Paul Young will be exhibiting with us for the first time this Christmas. I just love his work. Here's a picture of my Paul Young jug, which is in my kitchen at the moment filled with beautiful yellow lilies (thanks Leo!).

I love the lusciousness of his glazes, and the way his pots always have a great feeling of 'body' to them but at the same time they are light and balanced. I am really looking forward to having his work in the gallery.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

the book of days

For her current exhibition with us ceramicist Sue Dunne is exhibiting a series of 12 framed ceramic reliefs created for the book of days - a collaboration with poet Linda France who has selected a verse from every month to accompany each framed image.

Each framed ceramic relief costs £65. The frames measure 31.5 x 29.5 cm and each is in a limited edition of twenty.

We also have copies of the book of days for sale in the gallery priced £7.95. Poet Linda France wrote a Japanese Renga poem every day in 2006 and the book of days is the world's first 'year renga' book of poetry.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Extraordinary Measures @ Belsey Hall

There are less than two weeks left to see Extraordinary Measures at Belsay Hall. It closes on 26th September.

This is the sixth contemporary arts exhibition at Belsay, its Greek Revival Architecture and impressive gardens make it a perfect setting for being surprised, amazed and delighted by world class contemporary art.

My favourite artist this year was Ron Mueck - no photography was allowed inside building so you will have to look on their web site to see his hyper-realist figurative sculptures.

I went earlier in the summer and have many happy memories of a fantastic day out, here are some of my photos:

 ... and by all accounts the scones in the tea room are pretty good too.

Monday, 13 September 2010

'Thistle B Scrumptious'

Well, back to normal work after all the excitement of the Opening on Saturday. We've got loads of admin to do in the gallery this week and I think using your brain takes up more energy than running around.

For delicious lunches we're lucky to have new neighbours in Castle Douglas. 'Thistle B Scrumptious', run by Clint and Helen Burgess, sells local and Scottish produce, and they're just a few doors up from us, where the second hand book shop used to be. Clint makes a mean Waldorf Salad. It's so yummy I think I have a Waldorf Salad addiction!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Opening Day

Here are some photos from our Opening today. We had a very busy time and the gallery is looking great. I hope these photos give a feel of the exhibition, we're delighted with how popular the work is and how many compliments we had in the visitors' book.

Thank you all for coming and making it such an enjoyable Opening.

Sue Dunne's Honeysuckle framed ceramic relief

Frans Wesselman's Stained Glass Panels

The front room of the gallery with John Threlfall and Sue Dunne's work.

Sue Dunne ceramics and signed copies of John Threlfall's book 'Between the Tides'

Jonathan Mitchell's Water Lilies and John Threlfall's Wood Warbler - Wood of Cree

Sue Dunne's Oak Sampler ceramic relief wall hanging

John Threlfall's Wheatear- Meilkle Ross, Sue Dunne's Unfolding Year and Jonathan Mitchell's Low Sun, A February Afternoon

Joss, who came back from Glasgow to serve drinks, with Jill and Vivien - drinks server extraordinaire!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Finishing touches

Everything is coming together for our new exhibition tomorrow. I now have this huge bucket of flowers to arrange. I love all the finishing touches when all the hard work of the picture hanging is done.

The wine is chilling in the fridge...hope to see you all between 11am and 1pm tomorrow.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

A June Evening, Old Bridge of Urr

JONATHAN MITCHELL A June Evening Old Bridge of Urr oil on board 44 x 60 cm £1,750

"Jonathan Mitchell's paintings look fantastic - the one of the Bridge of Urr on a June evening hurls me into bouts of nostalgia.....I used to play and fish in the slime down there when I was wee."

When I sent out my exhibition E-Newsletter earlier in the week I also posted a link to it on my Facebook page. A friend from my schooldays, who has now moved to Canada, left the comment above after looking at Jonathan Mitchell's paintings on our web site. I know what he means, Jonathan has captured perfectly the light and atmosphere of a balmy June evening in Galloway.

We are nearing the end of hanging all the paintings for Saturday and we're starting to place all Sue Dunne's earthenware ceramics round the gallery. It's looking great, I can't wait to see the whole exhibition come together. 

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Glasgow Boys Again

Today I went for a second visit to the outstanding Glasgow Boys at Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow. Every painting is a gem and it is an incredibly full and comprehensive exhibition so it really merits more than one visit.

I think Sir James Guthrie's work is probably my favourite. From the powerful 'Highland Funeral' at the start of the exhibition, to his portrait of 'Old Willie The Village Worthy', which I think is one of the best portraits I've ever seen. His painting 'Hard At It' of an artist painting under a parasol on a beach is brilliant, painted in a very direct manner using the kind of soft almost gentle colours that were a favourite of 'The Boys' as The Glasgow Boys liked to call themselves.

I love all the paintings so much that I'd like to go back again before it closes on the 27th September.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Mixed Exhibition

Our Galloway and Scottish paintings have left the gallery now, although we are keeping a few paintings in stock.

We have just hung a mixed exhibition with work by lots of different gallery artists. This will be on for the next week.

We are getting ready for our Private View on the 11th September, the exhibition will be paintings by Jonathan Mitchell and John Threlfall, ceramics by Sue Dunne and beautiful stained glass panels by Frans Wesselman.

Frans Wesselman's stained glass panels arrived this afternoon and we were so delighted when we opened the box. Here's a little preview:

FRANS WESSELMAN Small Queen 18 x 18 cm £125

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Look out for your invitations

You're invitation for our next exhibition should be arriving any day soon, we got them all posted yesterday.

Here's a photo of Jill doing some last minute stamp sticking and envelope stuffing in the September sunshine in the gallery garden.