Some of you regular visitors to UG may already have met one of our closest partners - someone who has already appeared on this blog several times. The partner in question is artist Stewart Bremner.
We are particularly close to Stewart, as he was one of the artists we showed in our inaugural exhibition, 'Introducing', back in 2009. He has also been the brain behind all our fantastic videos, and the one behind our better photography moments. Stewart Bremner has also been very generous with his expertise in graphic design and illustration, giving us pointers with our website and social media efforts - although we are clearly still learning!
It was also Stewart Bremner to whom we entrusted the running of UG whilst we were off having our own 'Union' in 2010.
Here he is the day after our wedding, handling it all in his usual cool and unflustered style:
So our partnership with Stewart works on many levels: he is a partner, a comrade, a total grafter and, of course, now a good friend.
However, if you put all that aside, and even if he was a total pain in the arse, you cannot ignore the fact that he is a great painter - and that is currently what we are most interested in. I've mentioned all these qualities that you naturally want to gravitate to, but in the lead up to his 'Worlds Apart' exhibition with artist Kevin Low, and looking at the raw, uncompromising and immaculate work he has produced, I believe that we have found the nerve-centre and indeed the very psyche of Stewart Bremner.
Every artist will tell you that exhibiting their work is akin to baring your soul for the scrutiny of others. What can I say, Mr. Bremner? I salute you for doing so with such integrity and spectacular style.
In this body of work there is less of the mild-mannered, gentle Stewart Bremner, and more of the spontaneity, urgency and even aggression that help to make him the man he is. Yet the sensitivity and fragility of this artist is also there for all to see between the lines and the mark making. I believe that it is this combination that has so affected those who have seen the work.
Take a look at this:
'Adrift' (detail), mixed media, by Stewart Bremner.
Now that's what I call a serious example of 'physical' painting: the artist is throwing his heart and soul into the work. When I look at Stewart Bremner's work I can feel that energy 'bleeding' off the walls.
Rumour has it that behind closed doors, in that place of difficult negotiation and sanctuary that is Stewart's studio, he falls into some sort of trance when he works. I'm sure it would be both enthralling and somewhat unnerving to watch, but perhaps some things are just too private. Sometimes, it's best to leave a little of the magic to the imagination.