Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Visiting Aberdeen Art Gallery

Staying in eastern Scotland right now, I spent a delightful hour in Aberdeen's lovely art gallery yesterday morning. I always try to visit the changing exhibitions when I'm in the area as well as viewing again familiar pleasures.

This time I was drawn by a special exhibition in the rear gallery commemorating the start of the First World War. As well as moving artifacts from soldiers who fought in the war, there was a small collection of beautiful etchings by James McBey  a war artist at the front (more of his work in another post). The exhibition featured his etchings, one of which was enlarged dramatically onto the gallery wall to form a striking backdrop to the rest of the exhibits.

Despite dodgy wi-fi and no Adobe Photoshop, I include some images to tantalise ...


After viewing the temporary exhibits, I revisited favourites in the rest of the gallery, a motley selection of which I include here. 

First of all, is a fascinating piece called Inner Light by Sarah Taylor. This combines traditional weaving techniques and light-emitting optical and other unconventional fibres to give a range of subtle colour effects which change as you watch ... lovely , though not shown to its best advantage in these photos. Just shows what I could do with weaving - much food for thought ...!



And here is a real favourite - James Gutherie's (one of the Glasgow Boys) delightful oil To Pastures New, which caused quite a stir when first shown, and has a haunting beauty in its unusual composition.


Others I looked at and couldn't photograph satisfactorily include a lovely oil by  Joan Eardley, Harvest Time. This is a wonderfully rich evocation of the landscape around Catterline where she lived. It now sadly lurks behind glass which collects reflections that make it almost impossible to view, let alone photograph. 

There are also several maquettes by Henry Moore and two lovely small sculptures by Barbara Hepworth..

8 comments:

  1. Sarah Taylor's work is spectacular. How I'd love to see that in person. Sounds like you're having a great trip!

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    1. Sarah's work is indeed beautiful - subtle and ever changing but all within a conventional woven structure ... very clever.

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  2. I have not heard of what Sarah Taylor has been doing for many years. Her work has always mesmerised me, and for a short time around the turn of the century I did some research into trying to find a source of side emitting optical fibre to stitch with. I probably did not hunt for long enough, but I came to the conclusion that the best solution was to be at a college to have access to such materials and equipment. Good luck if you try.

    Here is a link to the wondrous Joan Eardley: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/harvest-time-106890

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    1. Thanks very much, Olga. Your comments, as always are most helpful. I'm sure that you are right that such material is best used in a college context. My comment that thought had been provoked by seeing Sarah's work with optical fibres was really a general one along the lines of if optical fibres can be used in weaving, what else could
      I use? Though optical fibres are really beguiling.
      Thanks also for the link to Joan Eardley. I was outwitted by time and technology in this post!

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  3. What a lovely way to spend a morning. And thank you so much for sharing it. The piece by James Gutherie is one I have always loved. Delightful.

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    1. The James Guthrie is indeed quite delightful .. we renew our pleasure every time we visit Aberdeen.

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  4. Sarah Taylor is with the Open College of the Arts at present: http://www.weareoca.com/fine_art/introducing-sarah-taylor-new-textiles-curriculum-leader/

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    1. Thank you again, Olga. I toyed in the past with doing something with the OCA but never quite committed. Perhaps it just wasn't quite the right time for me and now I'm finding help and knowledge from other source ..maybe one day ... However, i will certainly investigate Sarah's work via the OCA site when I get home to more reliable internet access.

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