Women Artists take over the galleries in Edinburgh this November

November in Edinburgh is clearly a time to celebrate the work of Scottish women artists past and present across several National and commercial galleries –  the monstrous regiment of women is on the march.

At the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art,  “Modern Scottish Women: Painters and Sculptors 1885-1965” is a major exhibition of work to commemorate artists from the Victorian era to mid 20th century, when an unprecedented number of Scottish women were training and working as artists.

Anne Finlay by Dorothy Johnstone Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Collection

Anne Finlay by Dorothy Johnstone
Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Collection

Many women artists had relatively short careers or were successful during their lifetimes and have since been forgotten, while other less well known names did not receive full recognition for their talents. The exhibition begins in 1885, the year in which the Glasgow School of Art appointed as its Director Fra Newberry, who was remarkable for his encouragement of female staff and students. It ends in 1965 with the death of Anne Redpath, the leading painter of her generation.  (7 November, 2015 – 26 June, 2016).

The Scottish Gallery on Dundas Street complements this major retrospective of work with their own selection of Four Women Artists – Elizabeth Blackadder, Victoria Crowe, Alison McGill and Emily Sutton – a diverse selection of still life, landscapes, flora & fauna, and delightful illustrative drawings of domestic scenes.  (4 – 25 November 2015).

Lillies and Poppies - Elizabeth Blackadder

Lillies and Poppies – Elizabeth Blackadder

At Arusha Gallery, Dundas Street, you can see the debut exhibition in the UK by Danish artist, Inge Horup.  She specialises in impressionistic figurative work featuring women – lipsticked mouths, wild hair, angular limbs – as if making a statement, standing out from the crowd.  Powerful, satirical, fun.  (8 – 27 November, 2015)

Model in blue landscape Inge Horup

Model in blue landscape
Inge Horup

So it is also timely this month to showcase this stunning exhibition by Anna Somerville, a graduate of ECA, who won the prestigious Elizabeth Blackadder and John Houston Travel award in 2000.

This talented lady has an exceptional eye to re-imagine the reflection of light, soft shade, undulating lines and the shifting perspective of the landscape. With the wild, carefree approach in capturing cornfields and seashore as Joan Eardley, with a glimpse of the contemporary cubist style of the late Caroline McNairn,  Anna Somerville has a refreshingly bold and vivid vision.

The painting on the left is entitled Imagine -the rich golden orange flare like a spectacular sunset.   And below, with the fluidity of soft blue hues, is a fine art print,  Waterfall.

These landscapes are not literal places, but a meditative sense of place depicting a dreamlike horizon,  the expanse of open skies and the sea.

As Somerville explains: “When I paint, I am trying to find somewhere but I don’t know where, I am searching with the paint and brush marks”.

Take a tram, train, bus, walk or cycle over to the Whitespace Gallery on Howe Street, Edinburgh this week to see these electrifyingly colourful, abstract expressionist paintings which will brighten up Winter nights – and transform that blank wall in your home.   The show ends on Thursday 12th November at 4pm, so do try and get there soon!.

Whitespace Gallery, 25 Howe Street, Edinburgh EH3 6TF     http://www.annasomerville.com

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About vivdevlin

I am an international travel writer, specialising in luxury travel, hotels, restaurants, city guides, cruises, islands, train and literary-inspired journeys. I review dance and theatre, Arts Festivals and love the visual arts. I have just experienced an epic voyage, circumnavigating the globe, following in the wake of Captain Cook, Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson.

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