Mirrey Fine Art Gallery in Cupar has exhibited an admirable presentation of North Fife artists in collaboration with Open Studios North Fife. Open Studios North Fife was originally an annual event to take place during the first holiday weekend in May. However, due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the difficult decision to postpone the event was made. This postponed event was further limited to occurring entirely online, though Mirrey Fine Art offered a physical exhibition of seven participating artists this last weekend. These artists included Paula Topley, Shed Heaven, Roderick Gauld, Rosemary McAllister, Theresa Gourley, Lesley Burden and Rachael Taylor. Face masks were required upon entrance as was hand sanitiser application, while the Gallery limited the visitor capacity to four customers at a time to allow for social distancing.
It was evident upon entering that Mirrey Fine Art was determined to exhibit a wide array of Fife talent; although these artists have their creative spirit and affiliation with North Fife in common, they still each had their own unique and individual styles that rendered the work as distinctly their own. The wall of Theresa Gourlay’s work, for instance, immediately jumped out as a remarkable example of portraits and landscapes with brightly-coloured acrylics. The artist’s work demonstrates an unmistakable intimacy with both her human subjects and the Scottish scenery, a familiarity that could only be harnessed by one close to home.
Paula Topley, contrastingly, captures the wildlife of Scotland with unique texture and bright colour. It is evident that Paula’s overarching passion lies in the natural form found in Scotland through the highly-detailed depiction of animals presented. The juxtaposition of such subjects upon bright backdrops then serves to further highlight their great detail.
The diversity of the Open Studios exhibition is further manifested through physical sculpture work and ceramics by artists such as Rosemary McAllister, which are handmade and fired in her Ladybank studio. These delicate ceramics include ornaments, vases, bowls and others and indicate a particularly detailed technique utilised by the artist. Rosemary, although predominantly focusing on ceramics, also exhibited new watercolour and acrylic artworks. These depictions of local landscapes evidently evoke the unique atmospheric conditions of Scottish scenery; a real treat for anyone familiar with the crisp climate.
Undoubtedly, Open Studios North Fife has made a concerted effort this year to exhibit the impressive multitude of talent found within North Fife. From acrylics on canvas to works made by designer-makers, Mirrey Fine Art has maintained this mission and has assuredly inspired its visitors, who may feel compelled either to partake in creative projects themselves or appreciate the dedication to the craft. Either way, there is an unmistakeable creative energy to be found here in North Fife.
Main image: Rosemary McAllister
With grateful thanks to Teresa Lillis for this review.