Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal Scottish Academy

RSA 185th Annual Exhibition

Royal Scottish Academy
30 April - 8 June 2011

The north-west Highlands, in particular the coastline about Cape Wrath, have been important for Iain Stewart, since his ‘LAND’S END/CAPE WRATH’ project of 2005. Stewart’s work presents an emotive and personal response to the place, drawing inspiration from music, the Romantic landscape tradition and the minimalist approach of the colourfield painters.

The pieces on show mark out a progression. Earlier lushly coloured seascapes move into life in the sun-washed dawn of ‘Orcadia’, a stunning 63 minute film. The 2006 photographic piece ‘Omen’ expresses a pivotal moment of sadness, as light and colour drop out of the world; a premonition of nightmares to come; the black void of a flooded cave in the 2009 film ‘Nightswimming’. In Iain Stewart’s own words: “… light and colour have at times given way to shadow and lost bearings; if I count the days, there has been more rain than sun.” Both of the video pieces are enriched by the work of sound artist Keith Berry, whose subtle accompanying audio brings further resonance to the work.

The group of work concludes with Stewart’s 2010 series, ‘Bothy’, which finds shelter from the weather and a human warmth in the remote Highland bothies. The landscape and colour begin to re-emerge from winter, framed by the man-made windows. The one constant in this flux of emotion and elements is the glory of the Scottish wilderness; in the open space there is respite and solace, and a reminder to live; memento vivere.

Iain Stewart’s work is internationally exhibited and collected, including exhibitions at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, the International Center for Photography, New York, The Museum of Fine Art, San Diego and Jackson Fine Arts, Atlanta. Collections include The National Galleries of Scotland, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark, The Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona and The Lannan Foundation, New Mexico. He is represented in the USA by Julie Saul Gallery in New York, and G Gibson Gallery in Seattle, Washington.

Upper & Lower Galleries

Royal Scottish Academy
The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL

Monday to Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday 12noon – 5pm

1 comment:

  1. All the best with the show Iain, gutted I can't make it to share those moments or sunshine, colour and the rain! I'll have to make do with the one's I have here in pride of place!