I've been thinking a lot about all you wonderful and fascinating people who visit UG every month.
This month sees the arrival of a whole host of new visitors I've had the pleasure of meeting and I'm enjoying every minute of it.
All of you have been lured here by a very unique and raw new talent in town. That talent belongs to award-winning artist Norrie Harman.
Hilary with her maker.
'Hilary's for Tea', oil on panel by Norrie Harman.
Some of you may not yet have read the first review of his exhilarating exhibition, 'Way Out West'. If you have will you indulge me and stick this in your browser again?
Over the next few weeks we have much to share with you about Norrie Harman and his work, and we will revel in introducing you to some of his creations, like Roxy, Linda and Kim Kim, and of course that 'famous' Hyena and the infamous Hilary.
But first, by way of an introduction, I'm simply going to tell you a wee story that goes back to the 1990's. Yes folks, all that time ago when I had all my own teeth and real hair!
I was a student at Edinburgh College of Art and nearing the end of my 'stretch' in the drawing and painting department. Like many art students, I was feeling extremely deflated and disillusioned by the whole experience. In an attempt to cheer myself up, or perhaps remind myself of what it was all about, I sought inspiration from my contemporaries and so embarked on a secret snoop round the other student's studio spaces. I naturally started with the final year students as, nearing the end of the process, there was bound to be something spectacular from which to learn everything. Alas, nothing springs to mind.
And so, and this is the important bit as it may have been the most significant move I ever made at Art College, I decided to look at the work of the younger students....the next generation.
After a spell of searching and searching, I found what I was looking for, and it was the most eye opening work I had seen in the whole four years I'd been at ECA. This work was by a Norrie Harman of who I knew nothing about and didn't need to. I just new his work was the 'real deal' and the images I saw that day and the name stuck with me.
Now, some fourteen years later (and long-time over-due) his first solo exhibition in Edinburgh the aptly titled 'Way Out West', is now on display at the gallery.
In the lead up to this outstanding exhibition of drawing and painting, we have learned much about Norrie Harman and his 'story' which, like his work is wholly compelling.
But for now, all I'd like to say is that this son of a butcher has more than earned his stripes.