The winners of The An Ealdhain Arts Trust’s first Open Art Competition, ‘Moving Mountains – the inspiration of landscape’, were announced at The Lime Tree Gallery, Fort William, on Friday 19 February 2016. Mary Golden from Perthshire, Paul Martin and Jane Stokes share a prize fund of £3000.
The winners of The An Ealdhain Arts Trust’s first Open Art Competition, ‘Moving Mountains – the inspiration of landscape’, were announced at a lively and well attended exhibition launch event at The Lime Tree Gallery, Fort William, on Friday 19 February 2016. Mary Golden from Perthshire was competition winner and received a cheque for £2,000, donated by the Moidart Trust. The runners up were Paul Martin from Musselburgh and Jayne Stokes from North Berwick who received £500 each.
Mary Golden’s fascinating collage, ‘Walk With Me’, constructed from her own drawings, impressed the judges with her deft drawing skills, subtle colouring and the dramatic light contrast as she led you from the light on the foreground hills to the dark depths of the glen behind. (image attached)
Paul Martin, a highly respected painter of Icons as well as landscapes, presented a rich layered work, redolent with varied golden tones, titled ‘Golden Valley’. The extraordinary undefinable motifs and ciphers greatly appealed to the judges. Jayne Stokes’ work ‘Road Trip Relics’ was very popular with eighty separate small watercolours each burnt to shape the edges all presented in a box frame.
The An Ealdhain Arts Trust had selected 44 art works from entries received from across the world as well as the highlands and the UK, from which the winners were chosen. The ‘Moving Mountains – the inspiration of landscape’ exhibition of the chosen pieces now runs at The Lime Tree Gallery, Achintore Road, Fort William until Sunday 3 April 2016 and is set to become an annual event.
The An Ealdhain Arts Trust’s new competition, set to become an annual event in Lochaber’s cultural calendar, showcases the best of the UK’s contemporary art inspired by the landscape. From exuberant oil paintings to meticulous line drawings, and from humorous sketches to breathtaking photographs the art works have a wide breadth of appeal; not only demonstrating the highly individual response to the inspiration of landscape but also exhibiting great skill and quality.
The announcement of the competition winners and exhibition launch event on Friday 19 September was part of the Fort William Mountain Festival staged in Fort William and Lochaber, The Outdoor Capital of the UK, from 17 to 21 February 2016.
Tina Davenport, from The Fort William Mountain Festival, said:
“I’m delighted that the exhibition launch event at The Lime Tree Gallery was such a success. The Fort William Mountain Festival are delighted to include the Moving Mountains open art competition and exhibition as a prominent new event in the Festival’s expanding Arts Programme and we hope that it shall become an annual highlight”.
The An Ealdhain Arts Trust, whose name means ‘the place of creativity’, is a Charitable Trust based in Lochaber. The An Ealdhain Arts Trust’s 2016 programme of events will continue throughout the year and will include further exhibitions, workshops and lectures. For more information on The An Ealdhain Arts Trust go to the website: www.anealdhainartstrust.co.uk.
Notes to Editors:
Mary Golden – Winner with Walk With Me:
Mary on her own work:
“I’m drawn to the individuality of the mountains and the peculiarity of their shape, how these massive natural forms sit in the landscape with their looming presence, how they relate to each other, the intricacy of their rock crevices and strata and how they are looked at and experienced. Recent work has been concerned with trying to capture this physicality and to convey a sense of what it’s like to be among these landforms. I’m looking for the mountain landscapes’ essence and spirit and to express this in fresh ways. “
Mary’s observation on the winning work ‘Walk with Me’:
‘Walk With Me’ is a composite drawing made by collaging several individual pieces together, aiming to convey a sense of the experience of walking in the mountains. Rather than looking at the scene as a whole, your eye is drawn around – from peak to glen to rock crevice, but always with a sense of moving up as well as experiencing the dramatic changes in light and shade so particular to the Scottish Highland landscape.
Mary’s observation on the suitability of the piece to the exhibition:
‘I thought it highly appropriate for the Moving Mountains exhibition as it seemed to fit the brief so well.’
Since November 2013 Mary has been on the committee of the Perthshire Visual Arts Forum (www.pvaf.org.uk).
Paul Martin – Runner Up with ‘Golden Valley’
Martin’s own artistic practice has always been firmly rooted in nature, but nature seen as a metaphor, never the end but always only the start of the journey. Something similar might be said of his use of the human figure: his figures are tangible yet otherworldly.
Myth and folklore have been another source of inspiration for Martin, as indeed has language itself: all three are cultural constructs created over countless centuries, and in all three the process of their becoming is inscribed in their current form.
Paul Martin’s response to the prize:
“I am really happy with the prize and am glad that the work fitted well with the scope of the exhibition.”
Jayne Stokes – Runner up with ‘Road Trip Relics’
“The starting point for my work is often a personal photograph, a found object; or an image collected from a magazine or newspaper. Two years ago I embarked on a series of works using multiple, postcard size images. My inspiration came from looking through a photo album of places I had been. I began to reflect on the process of film making, the composition of story boards and the transition of one scene to the next. It struck me that this approach would work well in painting; and by presenting these multiple images together it would be possible to document a journey or somewhere I had visited.”
The An Ealdhain Arts Trust, whose name means ‘the place of creativity’, is a Charitable Trust based in Lochaber. It is made up of a number or artists and art enthusiasts who are committed to bringing the highest quality art to the West Highlands and to enable it to be appreciated by communities and visitors within the landscape that inspired it. The ‘Inspiration of Landscape’ is fundamental to the Trust’s vision and forms the theme of their first Open Competition and Exhibition.
Ian Peter MacDonald, Chairman of The An Ealdhain Arts Trust and a Lochaber resident, said:
“The West Highlands of Scotland presents some of the wildest, remotest and most varied landscape in the UK, if not Europe. For centuries artists from Turner to Kokoschka have been inspired by the dramatic light and land of the West Highlands. The An Ealdhain Arts Trust has organised the Moving Mountains art competition to celebrate how contemporary artist’s respond to landscape.
Jacqueline Watt, Artist and Trustee of An Ealdhain Arts Trust, said:
“Art and creativity is an ongoing process and in order for an artist to progress, they require new challenges. Our themed Open Art Competition offers them this opportunity, either through exploring a new subject matter, or even by fine tuning or adapting current ideas and thoughts.
“Artists cannot work in a vacuum. Feedback and external responses are essential and contribute to ongoing development in their practice. The competition exhibition offers the artists exposure and a platform that brings their work to new audiences, widens their market with the added potential of it being exhibited with other galleries and institutions.”
The Trust was formally launched in July 2015 with its first exhibition called A Window to the West taken from the Collections of the Royal Scottish Academy. It proved a great success with a steady flow of visitors both local and from farther afield. The exhibition was launched by Professor Murdo MacDonald who made the following observation:
“An Ealdhain Arts Trust is a wonderful initiative. It makes art of the highest quality available in the heart of the Highlands, Fort William. Its first exhibition, Window to the West, draws on the exceptional collection of art relating to the Highlands in the collection of the Royal Scottish Academy. It was my good fortune to be asked to open it. It is well selected and beautifully displayed. Every work is in its way a highlight, whether it is an almost abstract oil painting of ‘Rocks and Water, Morar’ made by William Gillies in the 1930s, or an etched artist’s book from 2003, ‘Crossing to Finlaggan’ by Frances Walker. Most recent of all are extraordinary monochrome photographs of Skye made in 2013 by Alex Boyd when he was RSA Artist in Residence at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. But that just scratches the surface of this excellent show, which bodes well for this excellent initiative.”
The Fort William Mountain Festival is a five day festival of uplifting talks from top mountain athletes and filmmakers, together with exhilarating film screenings; mountain skills workshops and exhibitions, that celebrates and promotes the understanding, appreciation and value of the world’s wild landscapes, its people and culture.
To find out more about the Fort William Mountain Festival go to: http://www.mountainfestival.co.uk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/FWMF2016 / #FWMF2016
The Lime Tree Gallery, Achintore Road, Fort William, PH33 6RQ.
Tel: 01397 701806 / Website: http://www.limetreefortwilliam.co.uk/
Other Useful Websites:
Lochaber Chamber of Commerce – http://www.lochaberchamber.co.uk/
Outdoor Capital of the UK- http://www.outdoorcapital.co.uk/