Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Get Rhythm

Hello everyone

Sadly the soggy Scottish summer time is letting us down. However, it's nice and dry and bright and colourful in Union Gallery. It's also free and inspiring to visit, so feel free to drop by anytime.

I promised to shed more light on multi-award winning artist Colin Brown, so here goes:

I first viewed Colin's work in December last year at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. Not every artist can claim to have had their work shown in such a prestigious setting! The exhibition was titled "The River Runs Through It" and was the brain child and curated by artist Charles Jamieson MFA, PAI, PPAI and journalist and art lover Jan Patience, and I was very keen to see it as the ethos and spirit of the show and artists involved captured my imagination. The aim of "The River Runs Through It" was to generate interest and funding for the Riverside Museum Appeal. I felt it was also a celebration of heritage and culture and an exhibition not just of beauty, but of historical importance. The new transport museum, designed by architect Zaha Hadid, opens today (the longest day) and I will certainly be going for a look at some point.
There were many great artists involved including Ruth A Nicol, Adrian Wiszniewski, Annette Edgar, and of course Colin Brown.
I have to admit that Colin's work hit me right between the eyes. I had never seen anything like it before - or since.
Here is an example:

"Salon", acrylic and collage on wood panel by Colin Brown.

What hit me most was the outpouring of information. This information overload both excited and captivated me and I thought it very in tune with our modern day living. Yet at the same time, Colin Brown has been developing his wholly unique/distinctive/original style since the 1980's. After the initial excitement and experience of viewing Colin's work, there is no escaping how brilliantly engineered and constructed they are. The 'information overload' all makes perfect sense, the layers of thought are painstakingly cohesive and it's obvious that Colin, who begins making these paintings by experimenting with ideas, leaves nothing to chance once he is in the groove. To me, I liken Colin's work to composing a brilliant piece of music...there is rhythm, colour and texture and, like any outstanding composition, it will remain a classic:

"Gabriel", acrylic and collage on wood panel by Colin Brown.

You can experience Colin Brown's work in Union Gallery's "Now We Are Two" exhibition alongside Stewart Bremner, Trevor Jones, Olivia Irvine and Jenny Matthews.

Speak soon

Friday, 17 June 2011

The State of The Union

Hello everyone,

It's not by chance that I titled this blog as such.

As the Chinese curse says, 'may you live in interesting times', and we most certainly are. What a shame there's so many people out there scared about their and their children's futures, coupled with Mr Salmond's determination to march on and split us all up....we most definitely are living in interesting times.
At UG we just experienced our second anniversary and I've been a bit selfish and spent a whole afternoon reflecting on all that has happened. I'm no politician, I'm merely an artist. However, I do believe amazing things have happened in our 'happy space' in the face of diversity.
Establishing any business is a frightening prospect at the best of times. To do so in the economic doldrums is even tougher and involves many sleepless nights, but I revert back to my original message and genuine belief that, even in challenging times, good things can happen. This is something I largely attribute to the artists and gallery visitors....forward thinking, resourceful and enlightened individuals are very much the people to pull through in a crisis.
People pulling together, showing mutual respect and genuine support for each other in difficult times has proved to be a winner in this particular situation. In nature's terms...safety in numbers helps and it's easier to face the big bad world when you're not alone.
Briefly, when thinking of a name for our gallery, we struggled. It had to be definitive and something that could not be changed overnight. I found it interesting that there's Union Gallery's all over the world: Student Unions, Union this and that, the list is endless. However, here in Edinburgh, there's never been a Union Gallery until now, and ours is a true union of gallery, artists and visitors.
Hand on my heart, I believe that we are simply warming up. Union Gallery and the artists have so much more to offer. So far this year we have been enthralled and amazed by artists Audrey Grant, Barbara Franc and Janet Melrose. Who can forget this fella:

"Man Standing with Yellow Background", oil on canvas by Audrey Grant.

As we hit the hopefully not so terrible two's, we welcome award winning artist Colin Brown who's work excites and intrigues all who see it.
Next month sees four very bold and individual artists unite for the first time within the four walls, and I promise you it's going to be spectacular.
Here's a little taster:

The latest beauty from artist David Hosie.
I am especially pleased that we see the return of award winning artist Norrie Harman's work to Edinburgh. He is ready, his work is ready and I know you're ready!

Fear not, if you think things couldn't get better then you need to witness this:

"Love Letter", oil on canvas by the incredible Philip Braham.

Philip Braham's solo exhibition, "Still." will be showcased during the Edinburgh Festival. Definitely one not to miss.
All in all, I'm overjoyed and enthusiastic about the state of the Union.

Speak soon....

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Now We Are Two

Hello Everyone

On Thursday, we held the private preview of our new exhibition Now We Are Two.  As you can see from the video below, much fun was had by all who came to help us celebrate the second anniversary of Union Gallery:
Union Gallery: Now We Are Two from stewart bremner on Vimeo.

There are some stunning works of art in the gallery this month, including paintings by Jenny Matthews, Drummond Mayo, Douglas Sedden, Henry Kondracki and Stewart Bremner.  Also, for the first time, we are exhibiting work by award-winning collage artist Colin Brown:

'Salon' by Colin Brown.
More on Colin later, but in the meantime we hope you can make it into the gallery during this exhibition.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Closing on a Happy Note

Hello everyone

I hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather :)

Artist Janet Melrose's first solo exhibition, "A Still Life", is approaching it's final weekend and it has been a huge success and so a big thank you to all who have come to view it.
I thought we would end it with a bit of fun:

"I Saw This Early Morning", acrylic on canvas by Janet Melrose.

The above is what I saw the other morning. Strange but true.

"Bought Flowers Today", acrylic on canvas by Janet Melrose.

I picked some flowers. A small homage to Janet Melrose.
Speaking of flowers:

This cheerful ensemble arrived today from my good friend Hazel Brown
Hazel has recently established her own cleaning company and has dramatically improved my living conditions!
Check it out here:www.facebook.com/turbocleanltd

If you are around next week and fancy a party:

Let the joy keep flowing.
Have a great weekend all.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Various Visitors

Hello eveyone

I've been raking through some photos stored on my blueberry so thought I would show you some of the lovely people who have been through UG's door.
As it's the final week of Janet Melrose's solo exhibition it seems fitting that we start with the lady herself:
Janet popped in to over see some of the dot action: seen here not in those 'famous' dungarees. There's still time to come in and see what everyone is talking about. Thank you, Janet, for a truly magnificent show and for all your hard work.
We also recently enjoyed the company of arts writer and journalist Jan Patience who wrote the a very fine foreword to Janet's catalogue. Unfortunately I reverted to my 'old style' photography and managed to chop off part of her head (apologies Jan), so no photo here!
You can however, see what Jan looks like here:

Speaking of chopping off heads....

This is award winning artist Joyce Gunn Cairns MBE in her, at the time, tranquil studio. Joyce's studio is more frantic now as she finalises her exceptional work for our 'Head to Head' exhibition in July. I've been lucky enough to have been given a preview of the heads in question and am looking forward to seeing them on the walls.
Next up:

I also recently enjoyed the unexpected company of artists Stewart Bremner and Trevor Jones. Now Stewart looks rather apprehensive in this photo as he was about to over come his fear of flying to go to the States to participate in a collaborative exhibition with abstract artist Megan Chapman. Stewart Bremner has been incrediby busy of late and I look forward to his safe return and welcoming him, Megan, and his new work next week.

Dashing Mr Jones attempts to disguise himsef as a wine bottle. Discussions are in place over a ground breaking abstract exhibition to be held next year.
Last, but by no means least:

Ladies and gentlemen.....introducing the phenominal artist Norrie Harman.
Norrie Harman trained at ECA and is now based in Leeds, however I am extremely pleased to report that we will be lucky enough to see his work return to Edinburgh in July. If you look closely you can see a very cool tattoo of a greyhound on his wrist. Of course, he is a very cool individual himself.

I'm looking forward to receiving more various visitors over the coming weeks.