EDINBURGH.- We could call this exhibition of recent watercolours modest and indeed everything Elizabeth Blackadder makes is in one sense modest. She does not paint to impress her fellow Academicians in London or Edinburgh, she is unaware of her reputation and she does not seek new audiences and plaudits. Instead she works away, quietly unconscious of anything except the gentle challenge of the next painting. Each is a subtle resolution suggested by the juxtaposition of stems and blooms; or autumn leaves, the firstbrought as a trophy proffered by Toby, the more tractable of her two cats, arranged in perfect conversation across her sheet.
Her familiar irises and tulips are here and then a surprise; roses, ontheir narrow, thorny stems, in dusty pinks, as if picked from a wildhedgerow. From Eddys Fish Market or the van that toots its hornin her leafy street come lobsters and mackerel, bought for the table but bounty first for the studio. Two years after her monumental retrospective with the Galley of Modern Art this modest assemblyof new watercolours reminds us that her greatness is undimmed.
Jane Adam: Beyond the Surface
Jane Adam graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1985. She has been exhibiting consistently in important galleries and exhibitions ever since her postgraduate and her work is in many well-known public and private collections. These include the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.
Jane Adams work features bold shapes, interesting colour mixes and patterns, ingenious fastenings and hidden details. She creates wonderful colour combinations, with reminders of exotic textiles the maker had seen on her travels in India and Japan. The shapes have also often been stylised versions of natural forms a childhood shell collection lies behind many of them, and the geometry of these samples is visible in many recent pieces. There is a personal and emotional response to putting on her jewellery and secrets are an important feature of the experience, in which structure, fastening mechanism, and the back of the piece all have a part.
Many of her forms have emerged from the making process and the properties of the material itself. In recent years we have seen a move into the use of precious metal and stones, though often still in her familiar organic forms.
Public Collections include: Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, Goldsmiths Company, London, Crafts Study Centre, Surrey, Crafts Council, London, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, National Museums Liverpool, National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh, Shipley Art Gallery & Museum, Gateshead, National Museums Northern Ireland, Ulster, Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Stephen Bird: My Dad was Born on the Moon
Stephen Bird was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1964 and studied fine art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. He has made paintings, ceramics and sculptures since the early 1990s and his work is exhibited internationally. He is now based in Sydney, Australia and lectures at the National Art School in Sydney.
Public Collections include: National Gallery of Australia, National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh, Arizona State University Art Museum, USA, The Grainer Collection, Washington, D.C., USA, Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums, Aberdeen, The McManus, Dundees Art Gallery & Museum, Dundee.
Paul Reid: Mythologies
Paul Reids work is informed by old masters and their traditions. His understanding of their methods and techniques has allowed him to develop an uncompromising and enthralling world, but entirely contemporary. Mythologies represents the product of two years hard work for Paul Reid, and further distinguishes him as a true modern day master.