Galleries - August 2018

and all these artists now part of the year round Art Trail initiated in 2017 that does so much to give artists on the island some chance ofa sustainable livelihood. Another hugely successful idea from last year is the Biscuit Tin Initiative in which a dozen or so of J Paterson’s large and decorative shortbread tins, stuffed with art making paraphernalia and blank postcards, are scattered around various venues on (cafes, tea rooms and pubs) and now also off, the island, with the invitation to anyone to make a drawing, write a poem or whatever, all outcomes to be exhibited later on Arran. Together with a new exhibition initiative with the charity COAST (Community ofArran Seabed Trust) 'Something ofthe Sea' in which unsigned work by invited artists will be sold for a minimum of £25 to raise funds for and awareness ofthe charity, this festival is growing apace. Another Scottish August event to note is happening in the fishing village cum artists’ haven of Pittenweem (Galleries July issue). Meanwhile not far from Edinburgh (why not take a trip along the coast to the seaside town ofGullane?) is Fidra Fine Art where Alan Rae has recently moved his gallery and is showing AUGUST 2018 GALLERIES 7 from left L iberty Kimonos and Capes 1860s–1930s © Liberty London, image courtesy of Fashion & Textile Museum, Dovecot Studios R uth O’Dell ‘Blue Cup’ Greenall O’Dell Studio George Birrell ‘Lit Gable’ Fidra Fine Art Diana Mackie ‘Moonlight Over Lochan’ Diana Mackie Studio & Gallery from all over the world. One of Dovecot's other distinguished past collaborators, Victoria Crowe, is, serendipitously, the subject of two big exhibitions currently on in the city – 'Beyond Likeness' at the National Portrait Gallery and 'A Certain Light' – that nicely encapsulate the two key threads in this marvellous artist's work – portraiture and landscape. I have written about Crowe's work in the past, notably 'A Shepherd's Life' in 2000, an intensely atmospheric recording of the hardships of the farmers' lives in the Borders where this English- born artist has long lived and worked. The current Scottish Gallery exhibition reveals yet again her intensely poetic predilection for the tenebrous and dusky twilight, the 'time' of poets, which is very much her time of day and she uses its subtleties and shadings in a way that, paradoxically, reveals much more about her chosen landscapes’ depth and beauty than the bright light of noon. The same movement, from lightness to darkness and back, goes for her portraits too which cover an extraordinary range of composers, scientists, psychiatrists and actors – a 'likeness' is only the start of it. Meanwhile in Glasgow, art dealer Cyril Gerber may have died some six years ago but the eponymous gallery C yril Gerber Fine Art, now run by his Glasgow Art School-trained daughter Jill, is still very much the force on the Glasgow and Scottish art scene that it has been since he first started the Compass Gallery as a charitable foundation in 1969; their current Summer Show, stacked with treasures, from WY Macgregor to JD Fergusson, and Margaret Morris to Joan Eardley, is right up to his high standards. What gives this show its particular edge though, is just how many of the more contemporary artists in it owe so much of their reputation to Gerber in the first place – Adrian Wiszniewski and Steven Campbell were first spotted by Gerber when still at art school for example – while Jack Knox, currently with a major show at Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art, has been showing with the gallery almost from the beginning. And don't forget that when you buy a work from Cyril Gerber Fine Art you are, in effect, supporting the young artists still starting out on their careers at Compass. The Edinburgh Festival sets the tone for a summer seasonal art focus throughout Scotland – starting with that geographical encapsulation of Scottish geography, the Isle of Arran and this month’s Arran Open Studios. Now in its seventh year, it is bigger and better than ever, with 40 plus artists and studios participating, ‘the islands are an irresistible magnet . . .’