“Serene Expressions” – a painterly tour around Edinburgh by Jamie Primrose at Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh
At the Dundas Street Gallery this week, take a painterly, virtual reality tour around Edinburgh to view the classic architecture of the Old and New Towns, climb Arthur’s Seat, stroll through the tree-lined Meadows and down to the waterfront at Leith.
Since 2003, I have followed Jamie Primrose’s own artistic journey, from Scotland to South America and the Mediterranean, as he has perfected a bold style and precise palette to create his own dramatic, moody, impressionistic landscapes: during the summer, he showcased a masterly exhibition of shimmering seascapes along the French and Italian Rivieras.
This fine new collection of work reflects the natural beauty and architectural heritage of Edinburgh as seen through the seasons. The Meadows are captured from flowering pink blossom in Spring to the bare, skeletal avenue of trees in winter, but whatever the time of year, the scenes are enriched with realistic shafts of light and shadow.
It is quite extraordinary how he can return again and again to the same or similar city views where, through different times of day and the year, he observes the scene with a distinctively fresh perspective. This reveals the personal passion for his home, the city of Edinburgh.
“The view of Edinburgh from the road before you enter Leith is quite enchanting: it is, as Albert said, fairy-like and what you would only imagine as a thing to dream of, or to see in a picture.” Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria made her first visit to Scotland in 1842, just five years after becoming Queen. She noted this description in her journal at the time, marvelling at the beautiful views of the Castle, Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat.
175 years later Jamie Primrose is equally inspired by the same enchanting cityscapes with its timeless, majestic sense of place. In the introduction he says he is “fascinated by the ephemeral nature of light” and here you can experience the shifting times of day from dawn to dusk. Taking prominence on one wall is “ Spring Sunset from Arthur’s Seat, ” a marvellous panorama of the grassy hilltop and craggy rocks beneath a sultry, serene sky.
Very much his recurring forte are these fiery sunsets – wild streaks of coral-pink and grey tinted cloudy skies with a rosy glow bursting on the horizon. Arthur’s Seat is a favourite stomping ground for Primrose – here too are tranquil scenes of Duddingston Loch as well as “Late Afternoon glow over Dunsapie Loch,” looking across the distant bay towards East Lothian.
“Winter sunset reflections on St. Margaret’s Loch,” is also a calm composition where the water dapples under soft, fading light and a streak of feathery clouds. So atmospheric, you can almost feel the chill wind in the air.
Back in the city centre, enjoy a walk up and down Victoria Street between George IV Bridge and the Grassmarket: colourful, curving and cobbled, the street is a tourist attraction for antiques, books, cheese, whisky, tailored tweed clothing, the Bow Bar and restaurants.
Primrose shows Victoria Street in the quiet darkness of night to depict the quirky row of shops under a sweeping mauve sky. Around the Old Town, there are fine architectural studies around the Royal Mile, the iconic skyline of elegant church spires and the Castle towering high on the Rock.
A fairy-like city indeed – Queen Victoria would surely be impressed!.
Private Commissions are also welcome – perhaps a favourite landscape or your own street. Limited Edition Prints (destinations from Scotland to Venice), and Black Indian Ink Drawings are available too – the ideal Christmas present for family, friends or your home.
Serene Expressions – Friday 3rd to Saturday 11th November, 2017.
The Dundas Street Gallery, 6a Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6HZ
Monday to Friday 11am – 6pm. Saturday & Sunday 11am – 5pm