Tatha Gallery’s current exhibition, ‘Bring in the Light’, is an uplifting example of the emotive impact created by artwork’s simplicity. Tatha Gallery’s exhibition is consequently one of purpose – the curation of this collection evidently recognises that the shorter days and colder nights may require one to find warmth elsewhere.
Considering both the changing of the season and the unprecedented challenges many have been faced with recently, Tatha has elected to emphasise positivity and inspiration. As such, by physically depicting light, colour and beauty, the exhibition serves to shed an emotional light for the admirer. This is all done while offering a safe, clean environment for visitors where face masks are required, hand sanitiser is offered and there is ample space for social distancing throughout the Gallery.
Immediately upon entering, you notice how Tatha Gallery’s location, upon the beautiful banks of the River Tay, benefits from natural illumination and tranquility. The unique artwork of Dominique Cameron, well-placed on the wall taking in this light, instantly draws one in.
Cameron’s work and its emphasis upon Scottish waters inherently complements the colours that surround the Tatha’s walls. Fife Ness – Sea, for example, and its medium of oil on wood lends texture and depth to the piece, directly alluding to the movement found by the water. Cameron also depicts the Scottish sea in Sea cliffs Yesnaby, Orkney and Road to the Isles – Rannoch Moor, all of which are enhanced by their delicate placement on Tatha’s brightened wall.
It is through the inclusion of this work and others that Tatha’s effective curatorial practice is palpable. This is further seen in Helen Glassford’s work which not only delivers light and colour, but also complements the serenity rendered in other pieces.
Again, there is a beautiful stillness in Glassford’s work as she captures a personal appreciation for the surrounding Scottish scenery. Glassford’s paintbrush also communicates a delicate link between abstraction and landscape as the blending of light and colour encompass our changing natural environment. It is therefore through this dynamic instability that serenity can be found. This theme, amplified by the light, is evidently one that Tatha wishes to explore, and is made all the more evocative by our current global crisis.
Tatha’s incorporation of Paul Furneaux’s artwork likewise delves into revivification that is dependent upon previous hardship experienced. Furneaux explores Japanese woodblock printing techniques through elevated forms and uplifting colour, and the Gallery’s aim to emotionally inspire is again demonstrated here where poignant depth is rendered through both simplicity and contrasting colour.
Furneaux, upon explanation of his technique, expresses that the Sumi wave imagery and black ink refer to the tragic tsunami in Japan. However, Paul has instead elected to focus ‘more on recovery than disaster’. This is undoubtedly an objective that many can relate to and emotionally require at the present.
Apart from the visual art embodying light and movement, there is further representation of this theme in the physical work exhibited in the gallery. The ceramics of Michele Bianco are particularly stirring, as they are clearly influenced by the forms and textures encountered in nature. Bianco’s Rindle Carved Vessel and Rindle Carved Bottle utilise subtle colour differences found in clay through the application of off-white glaze upon a grey stoneware. The pieces resultantly catch both light and shadow throughout the delicate shapes manifested in the ceramics.
The dynamic work of William Black also communicates energy, though contrastingly through the utilization of wire sculptures. This medium then emphasises natural movement and, due to the fitting placement of such pieces by the gallery’s windows, the negative space advances the illumination of these sculptures. This is clearly distinguishable through Ascending Forms and Small World, where simplistic shapes rendered by the wire juxtapose to the light in the gallery.
‘Bring in the Light’ is a delicately-curated, enriching exhibition which evidently aims to inspire its visitors. The current universal and contextual necessity of emotional elevation is tempered by this illuminating display of impressive local artistry, ultimately supporting both the onlookers and the artists. As such, a visit to the Tatha Gallery is one met with delight and enlivenment.
With grateful thanks to Teresa Lillis for this review.