'The Landlines’ is a group of 15 exciting landscape artists currently studying on the Year-long Landscape Course at Leith School of Art. From a wide range of artistic backgrounds and influences, the students have come together under the tutelage of Paul Mowat to develop their individual artistic practice. This month, the group will show their work collectively at Union Gallery in Edinburgh. Under the theme of 'Time & Trace' this showcase exhibition promises a host of atmospheric landscapes ranging in artistic style, scale and media.
Here they talk about the process of working together as the group embarks on its first ever independent exhibition.
What made you decide to form ‘The Landlines’?
The Landscape class was already working collectively with a wide range of interests and influences, all enjoying the challenges of landscape painting under the excellent tuition of Paul Mowat. The atmosphere in the studio between us all is incredibly supportive and dynamic. Therefore, there was interest in holding our own independent exhibition and it seemed a logical step to collaborate and see how we could further develop as emerging artists.
How did you go about securing your first external exhibition? How have you found the process of preparing for the exhibition? What has it involved?
As we all share the common aspiration to develop our individual practices, working in such an environment gave us all a synergy and impetus to take things forward. There was some talk about seeing if we could independently run, organise and curate a contemporary art exhibition. Through some discussion, Doug [May] suggested approaching Union Gallery on our behalf and things moved very quickly from there. Union Gallery were keen to support our initiative and offered us a week's gallery space for a sum that was affordable as a group. With lots of organisation and enthusiasm we set about assigning key roles to each member of the group and created subgroups to take care of publicity, marketing and administration. As a result we have developed promotional material, both physical and on social media platforms, and much to our delight Paul Mowat offered to help curate our exhibition with the support of Leith School of Art.
Advice for any other students/early career artists looking to exhibit their work?
To anyone wishing to do the same we recommend that working collaboratively as a group is key. Exhibiting work in this way raises visibility and provides an opportunity for achieving goals with minimal risk. The collective nature of the process also means costs can be shared. One thing that was most beneficial was to identify the skill set within the group and delegate tasks appropriately. We held regular meetings in subgroups and as a whole, and had an active WhatApp group as means of support. We also identified that other than designing and printing leaflets, we didn't need to waste money from our budget on advertising, but utilised a variety of social media platforms.
The exhibition opens on Friday 29th March and runs through until Thursday 4th April. Entry is free of charge. For more information on the exhibition visit the Union Gallery website.
Places are limited for our Landscape Course for 2019/20 so if you are thinking of applying get your application in as soon as possible. You can apply online or contact the School to request an application form.
About the artists:
Pennie Lordan is from London currently working and living in York in her 3rd of Landscape Painting year at LSA. Pennie’s work is driven by an emotional response to life experiences through the exploration of edge lands whilst observing the intrigue of the overlooked often through the use of disregarded or found materials. www.pennielordan.com
Doug May came to art late in life and studied at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen before moving to Edinburgh and studying at LSA. The move was the catalyst to start to develop his interest in the urban landscape through drawing and painting. This allows Doug to research and observe the landscape and capture some of the fleeting but memorable sensations experience during the process.
Neil Ross was born in India of Scottish parents, educated in Zambia and England and qualified as an architect in 1968. Resuming his love of painting on retirement he has exhibited in Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland, with particular interests in landscape and built forms.
Barbara Mackie’s work is inspired by her enthusiasm for the physical world, built and natural; structure such bridges, walls, paths; unchanging land masses, formed by water and ice and organic timeless forms in ancient woodland.
Alison McNeill is in her 1st year at Leith School of Art and her work is largely inspired by the natural environment. Predominantly working with mixed media and a limited colour palette, Alison uses expressive line and mark to interpret the landscape around her.
Fiona Martin was born in Australia and currently resides in East Lothian, Scotland. She exhibits locally and in Edinburgh and has sold to private collections across the UK. She has been shortlisted for a National Open Art Competition and was the winner of an Abstract Art Prize in East Lothian. Fiona is currently undertaking her 3rd year at Leith School of Art studying Landscape.
Irene Jordan is intrigued by the figure in space.
Julia Maculay’s work covers a range of subjects depending what intrigues her at that moment in time. Julia has been exploring intimate places, particularly the gardens of Stockbridge Colonies where she lives.
Matty Lough is in his 2nd year of Landscape Painting at LSA. This followed completion of the year long diploma at the Norfolk Painting School. Matty’s work concentrates on the light on the Ayrshire coast.
Peter Pitkin grew up in Buckinghamshire and has worked as a botanist for the National Conservancy Council and a specialist in land-use for Scottish Natural Heritage. Peter has been painting seriously for 5 years and is interested in the similarities between natural shapes and certain architectural features.
Stuart Norman is an artist in Kelso in the Scottish Borders. He is interested in expressing through mark making and colour, the rolling hills and river landscapes of the region. He works in Acrylics and Oils and formerly in Enamel www.stuartnormanart.co.uk
Kshema Cooper is an Edinburgh artist presently living in Leith. Kshema finds the dock and scrapyard environments provide an infinite source of fascinating material from which to work.
Jennifer Mole is a farmer's daughter from the Scottish Borders living beside the coast and inspired by the ever changing light and natural environment.
Veronika McKerrell is a Canadian artist living in Edinburgh who’s inspiration comes whilst hiking and interacting with the landscape. Veronika explores the structure, lines and texture of Pentland Hills. Veronika’s paintings are abstract and spontaneous.
Sabine Hotho turned to painting late in life and remains inspired by the ethos of LSA with painting remaining an ongoing discovery and exploration of how to capture the experience, sense and awe of being outside.