The Scottish Gallery, 16 Dundas Street, Edinburgh
Running from February 1 – 25
Open Mon-Fri 10am – 6pm, Sat 10am – 4pm, Sun closed
The Scottish Gallery, celebrating 175 years in the art business, starts this landmark year strong with a trio of excellent exhibitions for us to enjoy! Ranging from tactile and mesmerising oils to fine kiln fired pottery, all three exhibitions would be worth a visit on their own, but together create a powerful mix of objects and media.
Geoff Uglow’s fifth solo exhibition at The Scottish Gallery “Rose Garden Vol.1,” occupies the entirety of the upper floor. Owning the whole space, Uglow’s physical and unique work is inspired by his rose garden, grown entirely from scratch by hand by the artist himself. The pieces are striking from afar and become more captivating and mesmerising the closer one gets to the piece. Ranging from small scale pieces to large, wall covering installations, Uglow’s pieces each maintain a strong individuality while also hanging together brilliantly as a set.
Of the pieces on display our personal favourite is Soltice MMXVI. The 2 metre by 2 metre piece which dominates the gallery is unarguably the standout of the exhibition. Highlighting what makes Uglow’s art so special, Soltice could easily be the centrepiece of a home, occupying a wall to itself.
Uglow’s exhibition would arguably be strong enough to fill a whole gallery, but the ground floor plays host to two additional exhibitions, the first of which, is a retrospective of 20 works by Joan Eardley, who’s career, cut tragically short by cancer, is summarised marvellously by this show. Among the pieces on display in “Restless Talent” is unseen work from her time spent drawing and painting the children of Townhead in Glasgow. Coincidentally, the exhibition opens during the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s own Joan Eardley exhibition.
Our personal favourite from the works on show is Building: Palazzo Type. Painted between 1948-49, it is a beautiful depiction of a venetian townhouse, with great attention lavished upon the detailing of the building and the background and canal elements of the piece fading into abstraction. The colours and the eye for detail are a testament to Eardley’s skill as an artist and a reminder of the great talent that we have lost.
Sharing the ground floor with “Restless Talent,” Lisa Hammond’s “Fire II” is a new group of work by the veteran potter. Hammond’s emphasis has always been on the practical and everyday use of her work, pottery as both art and as functional objects. The pieces on display in “Fire II” exemplify this masterfully, with each piece having a strong form and outline but with meandering yet purposeful lines formed in the layers of clay.
Inspired by time spent creating and exhibiting in Japan, Hammond nails her mission statement and creates great pottery which one can easily imagine in the home.
All three exhibitions launched on February 1 and run until February 25. Each show as a solo exhibition would receive high praise but as a triple it makes a trip to The Scottish Gallery an absolute must.