Six Simultaneous Exhibitions of Painting, Craft & Photography
Open 12 – 5 pm daily 1st July – 31st August 2011
|Children, Students, Unwaged:
[please click on the thumbnail images below to view larger copies]
John Nicolson (1843 – 1934), crofter and fisherman, lived at Auckengill. He showed an early natural artistic talent and, though virtually untaught, developed skills as a painter and sculptor, producing seascapes, portraits of local characters and elaborately carved tombstones. In 1890 he joined his neighbour Sir Francis Tress Barry, Keiss Castle, in archaeological research and helped record the finds made during excavation of Pictish sites in the area. His neat drawings, näive paintings and quaint carvings form a unique Caithness 19th century cultural legacy.
Robin Bownass was born in Warrington and studied at Manchester and Edinburgh. While still lecturing in Lancashire he started Ship of Fools, a continuous series of adjoining paintings now over 100′ long. In 1997 he relocated to Orkney, adding each year to this large-scale pictorial narrative which expresses feelings of powerlessness in a world fraught with disaster. Three sections of this work will be on show at Lyth along with a group of portraits.
Joan Holdsworth, another Lancashire-born artist, studied Design and Applied Arts at Edinburgh before moving to Orkney in 1997 where she set up her own glass studio. Inspired by the wild Orkney coastal scenery, she produces an attractive and colourful range of decorative glass works including wall-plaques, bowls and illuminated panels.
Claire Sutherland was born in Dumfries and Galloway and studied textile design at Dundee. She produces rich images of plants, not as botanical illustration but as vivid compositions based on natural forms, juxtaposing intricate detail with the fluidity of watercolour. She has exhibited widely, has work in many collections and is a frequent visitor to Caithness where her parents were born. She is the great-granddaughter of John Nicolson.
Ken moved north from Glasgow to Wick 15 years ago. He is passionate about nature and has won many international natural history photographic awards including recognition in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. He has recently co-authored a book Wild Flowers of the North Highlands of Scotland with Ken Butler. He loves to promote the magnificent natural wonders of Caithness and in this, his first gallery exhibition, he focuses on the majesty of its coastline.
Rachel Elliot studied architectural glass at Edinburgh where she opened her own studio in 2009. She produces small 3D works on various themes where familiar elements are given a new often whimsical twist. She has several jewellery ranges including Liquid Tartan in stained and flame-worked glass which achieve an elegant sophistication while hitting an original note with a similar refreshing sense of humour.