“Taking Shape” – a bright, colourful show for Springtime at Lennon Art, Edinburgh

Lennon-Art is a most welcoming gallery in the cultural (and culinary) hub of Stockbridge, Edinburgh, founded by the artist Alan Lennon.  The current collection Taking Shape very much celebrates the birth of Spring with a refreshing cocktail of colourful paintings and prints by Stephen Holmes, Alan Martin and Alan Lennon, interlinking a theme of abstract artwork with both lighthearted humour and thoughtful insight.

“The world doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?”   Pablo Picasso

Stephen Holmes studied Graphic design and has been influenced by surrealism, wildlife and children’s book illustrations for his cool quirky images of animals, people and places which primarily focus “on the relationship between free-form shapes and colours.”

Cat, Stephen Holmes

With sharp edged red, blue and orange cubes and triangles like a traditional Harlequin’s suit.  his painterly style echoes the modern masters – Mondrian, Picasso and Miro – but which is in no way a blatant duplication.

Figures and dog in front of the sun, Miro

In his own refreshing manner, Holmes captures the naivety and innocence in childlike images of cats, houses, city park and caricatures of people which will make you smile.

Red Haired Girl does a drunk dance, Stephen Holmes

A vivacious “Red-haired girl does a drunken dance”  evokes rhythm and energy while his rather sombre “ Self Portrait” is, of course, most revealing, akin to Joyce’s literary version, “Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man.”

Self Portrait, Stephen Holmes

Whatever the subject matter, there is pure inventiveness in each picture depicting an enchanting landscape with a wild and wondrous imagination.

 “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso

Moving down the route of abstraction, Alan Martin presents a patchwork of geometric shapes around curving lines described as Doodles using mixed media, mainly acrylic with pen and coloured pencils on card or canvas.

Archeology 3 – Alan Martin

While he has a strong interest in archaeology, astronomy and the seashore,  he says, “ I find it hard to talk and explain about individual paintings …  I simply enjoy playing with line, colour and shape …  manipulating the randomness that can result from using collage.”

Composition 23, Alan Martin

There’s a two-dimensional flatness over the canvas and the bold compositions would also be ideal for cushions, rugs and Fashion design too – the swirling patterns and bright prints by Emilio Pucci and Jonathan Saunders are perfect for flowing silk and soft fabrics from floaty summer dresses to swimwear.

Abstract print bikini, Emilio Pucci

The diverse range of Martin’s work also covers a porfolio of birds, fish, people and still life with a darkly, dramatic, Dali-esque narrative.

Cheers, Alan Martin

“There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterwards, you can remove all traces of reality.” Pablo Picasso

Alan Lennon’s oil paintings specialise in figurative work with a recurring theme  of a thoughtful,  philosophical mood.  Through a series entitled Essence, Substance and Silence, he has gradually developed a less representative dimension along the lines of Picasso’s manner of fragmentation.

Aspiration, Alan Lennon

These reflect a hidden depth of emotion and spirituality handled through facial expression and subtle gesture of crossed hands and feet such as in “Reflection” and “Aspiration”.

Reflection, Alan Lennon

Le Reve, Picasso

Lennon admits his figures are not based on people he knows.  Instead through his own imagination (and perhaps subconsciously adding an aspect of himself), presents a quiet, joyous Zen-like beauty of the world.  He is also a fine sculptor especially constructing a face, eyes and furrowed brows depicting sadness or love with extraordinary poignancy.

Sculptured heads and figures, Alan Lennon

“Taking Shape” is a well curated showcase of three artists who complement each other with their individual approach to reconfiguring the notion of the everyday, life and humanity with imaginative vision.

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place, from the sky, from the earth, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web”  Picasso

Catch this exhibition if you can before it ends on 10 May … but whenever you visit there is always a varied collection of paintings, prints and sculpture throughout the year.

Taking Shape: 13 April – 10 May, 2018

Lennon-Art,  83 Henderson Row, Edinburgh EH 3 5BE

Open Mon-Sat, 12pm – 6pm.

Tel. 0131 556 6888

www.lennon-art.co.uk

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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