So tragically I have lost precious footage of the development of award winning artist Audrey Grant's body of work. It was fascinating and compelling to see the work unfold.
One has to admire Audrey's total commitment and determination. She battled through an horrific winter everyday to her not exactly warm studio. Any artist will tell you that this can sometimes be a thankless and solitary experience. Some days you go in, put in hours of draining, mental (and physical) work and are left feeling utterly demoralised. As Audrey's paintings take months to develop, she has been working on this exhibition for a year. She is a 'physical' painter, who fights and nurtures her paintings every step of the way, and that can be an exhausting experience where often the hand to eye coordination can't keep up with the brain.
I think it's fair to say that you can feel that intensity and perfection from the work. So, looking at Audrey's paintings is also an experience- both moving and enlightening. These are important paintings to spend time with and contemplate and in this increasingly stressful world, I think Audrey's paintings will strike a chord with everyone. After all, we are all mere mortals making our way through the world. When I look at Audrey's work there is a startling familiarity. I recognise and empathise with the fragility, the awkwardness, even the loneliness of the nameless figures captured in paint:
"Man Standing with Yellow Background", oil on canvas. Audrey Grant 2010.
I look at the above painting and actually think, yes, I know that....I've been there.
I am so grateful that there are artists like Audrey Grant who have a gift in translating these raw emotions through canvas and paint.
I would like you to experience these paintings too.
Next time we will be taking a closer look at the work "Being Human"'s other half, ECA student Martyn McKenzie.
In keeping with the 'Being Human' theme I thought it would be nice to introduce a few inspirational and unsung heroes:
This is Tony. Tony had been a BIG ISSUE vendor for 6 years and has a wealth of life-experience stories. Day in, day out, you will find him outside Tesco's at the bottom of Broughton Street. I'm sure a lot if you living in Edinburgh will instantly recognise his 'well kent' face. Tony is always smiling and genuinely enjoys his work: I always find a bit of banter with Tony puts a spring in my step. I also owe him a huge thank you for looking after the Union Gallery hounds when I pop in for the groceries. Particularly Harry, the crazy and rather difficult Dalmatian. Please buy your Big ISSUE from Tony.
Lastly. Masses of best wishes to our dear friends Mr and Mrs Gough who's baby twin girls were born on this day 2011. Congratulations!