Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Happy Chinese New Year

Hello everyone,

Many of you will know that this Friday sees the Chinese New Year and that we are entering the year of The Horse. At Union Gallery, we are particularly aware of this fact this year as our fantastic intern, Jenna, has gone home to China to celebrate, and we are missing her keenly.

The Year of the Horse is a good one in many ways: for those like Jenna, born on a horse year, the good news is that it is suggested that they are cheerful, popular, talented and enjoy entertaining. They are associated with success and cannot stand failure. For those of us not born on a horse year, the year ahead will apparently bring health and prosperity.  I, for one, fully intend to embrace that prediction.

Small wonder, then, that the wonderful Barbara Franc sculpture, 'A Sure Thing', was one of the first pieces to sell in her recent exhibition and, sure enough, it was sent to an eager client of ours in China.  Lucky chap:

'A Sure Thing', steel wire and recycled material, by Barbara Franc.

And small wonder that the exquisite little painting, 'Black Prince', by great Edinburgh artist Henry Kondracki, which is currently hanging in the gallery, is attracting so much attention:

'Black Prince', oil on canvas, by Henry KondrackiSuch a beautifully observed painting: I am pretty confident that it will soon find a new, enlightened and soon to be prosperous home.

And, of course, we are still lucky enough to have two lovely Horse Puppets by the brilliant Barbara Franc - the perfect companions to a really successful Chinese New Year:

'Fruit and Nut Horse Puppet', and:

'Jonathan Horse Puppet'

Enjoy the New Year, and we'll see you soon.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Wouldn't Hurt a Fly

‘High Tea’ by Samantha Boyes.

Samantha is an Edinburgh based artist working from her studio in Morningside.

She rarely exhibits her work as she is nervous of the response it gets.

Samantha does not kill any animals. They are mainly road kill. The Puffins in ‘High Tea’ were washed up on the beach. They are juveniles which starved to death as a result of dramatic changes in weather patterns.

The young female sparrow hawk in the teacup died after flying into a friend’s window. (A special licence was required to use the specimen as she is a protected bird of prey).

She has a degree in fine art and studied sculpture and kinetic sculpture. She has also worked as a stone mason. She took up taxidermy 5 years ago taking initial training from the highly respected taxidermist George Jamieson.

It has taken some time to develop, but finally she has combined her sculpture with her skills as a taxidermist.

Many of the cakes you see are made from plaster, foam and polly filla.

‘High Tea’ took 3 years to make. It takes a long time to build up a collection of animals and Samantha sourced everything from the cutlery to cups, saucers and silver wear.

Every animal and insect you see on the table is by law recorded and documented. There may be a playful element to Samantha’s work, but the art of taxidermy is a serious business and is heavily regulated. As it should be.

Samantha probably knows more than most about animals and wild life, it is essential to have an in depth knowledge and respect for your subjects as a taxidermist.

I must hop off now, but check back soon for latest news! 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Happy New Year!!


Union Gallery is excited about the months ahead with a programme of oustanding exhibitions.
As always you will find some behind the scenes action here on the blog.

We hope 2014 is a wonderful and shiny new year for you all!