ref: gIl May 20-Jun 18 2017 FIDRA FINE ART Matthew Draper - Open a 'pdf' of this press release - return to Galleries PR Index

Matthew Draper

“Small Works”

20 May to 18 June

Opening with refreshments on Saturday 20 May 12-5pm

The volcanic plug that is Bass Rock, sits a few miles off the coast at North

Berwick. Its presence to people who live in East Lothian has provided a timeless,

reassuring permanence. To artists such as Matthew Draper the rock is the

perfect stage that plays host to the perpetual drama of the ever-changing

Scottish weather. The haar, so familiar to residents of this coastline, is one of the

star performers. Descending in layers of varying depth, diffusing the light onto

the rock creating an heir of romance and mystery - it is as much the subject of

Matthew’s work as the landscape itself.

The current show featuring new and recent, smaller works explores not only

Bass Rock and the East Lothian coastline but also Edinburgh, where Matthew has

his studio as well as the dramatic Scottish landscape from the Trossachs to

Rannoch Moor and beyond.

In his Edinburgh cityscapes, the weather is again a key player. It provides infinite

possibilities for the artist to change the mood of a landscape. Blizzards closing in

over Arthur’s Seat or the passing of squalls swept in from the Firth of Forth have

been studied at length from his top floor flat, overlooking the city. The haar,

again a natural filter on the landscape, rolls in over the Old Town, softening the

light source whether that be the sun or moon, streetlights or lights from events

at the Castle esplanade.

His Highland pieces follow in the tradition of the Romantic landscape painting of

Caspar David Friedrich, De Breanski and the Scottish artists Alexander Nasmyth

and Horatio McCulloch. Clouds creeping in across a glen, light chasing along a

hillside or dark, ominous fronts closing in, all perfectly evoked through the

manual build up of numerous layers of pastel, his chosen medium.

We are extremely proud to be exhibiting in North Berwick, the work of one of

Scotland’s most accomplished landscape artists. Matthew has won many awards

including, most recently, the prestigious Charles Pears Award at the Royal

Society of Marine Artists at the Mall Galleries in London. He has had numerous

solo shows across the UK including; Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh, Lemon

Street in Truro, Beaux Arts in Bath and last year, at the Scottish Gallery in


Alan Rae, 45 Dirleton Avenue, North Berwick, East Lothian EH39 4BL

01620 895057 -

Artist Statement

'I identify myself principally as a draughtsman; drawing being the most

unencumbered and immediate form of image-making. My work is made with an

intense and energetic immediacy, working instinctively rather than methodically,

keeping me physically and emotionally involved in the process. I crush soft

pastel in my hands rubbing the dust into the paper in wide sweeps of colour

gradually manipulating the material to build up a thick layered surface using the

ball of my thumb or the heal of my hand.'

'I am interested in and influenced by the dramatic imagery of Eighteenth and

Nineteenth Century painting. I admire the idea of the contemplation of landscape

in the Romantic spirit, found in the work of the German Romantics like Caspar

David Friedrich and the notion of the grandeur of the landscape as expressed in

the work of the American Subliminal Painters like Sanford Robinson Gifford and

Frederic Edwin Church. These artists adopted the term 'Luminism', defined as

light in the landscape and the effect that light has on the landscape and objects

within it.'

'As a contemporary artist choosing to adopt this approach to light in the

landscape, my interest is not to make straight-forward topographical images that

are illustrations of place. Instead I am attempting to make imagery that is

descriptive of the circumstances under which the subject is viewed; images

which convey a sense of place. The drawings are emotional reactions to events

and experiences evolving in front of me; events happening or about to happen.

The images become like fading memories or captured moments in time. The

making of the work is in itself as set of actions and events which creates a

harmony between my process and my interpretation of the subject.'

Alan Rae, 45 Dirleton Avenue, North Berwick, East Lothian EH39 4BL

01620 895057 -

Notes to Editors:

Fidra Fine Art

Covering over 200 years of the best in Scottish fine art, watercolour and oil

paintings, drawings and prints, Fidra Fine Art is an art gallery based in North

Berwick, East Lothian and currently displays work from a range of leading

Traditional, Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Scottish artists. Current

artists include Matthew Draper, Simon Laurie, Davy Brown, George Birrell, Neil

Macdonald, Alice McMurrough, Lesley Banks, Jock MacInnes, Angela Repping,

Jayne Stokes and many more.

Alan Rae, 45 Dirleton Avenue, North Berwick, East Lothian EH39 4BL

01620 895057 -