Author: Christine Richard OBE FRSA

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Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 at 9:27 pm
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Exhibitions

Body And Soul

Brent Millar’s ‘I Hope So…’ and Audrey Grant’s ‘Ceci Est Mon Corps’ comprise current exhibitions at Edinburgh’s Open Eye Gallery

Edinburgh-based Brent Millar is inspired by nature, poetry and music. His work was described by Alfonse Bytautus in the following words: ‘These are paintings made with the eye and the heart. Below the surface, beyond mere appearance we may experience that which is truly real – pure thought and emotion in harmony with the natural world.’ As a reviewer of art these words, to me, encapsulate the essence of Brent’s work.

Brent was born in Edinburgh in 1950 and studied at Edinburgh College of Art (1968 – 72) under the guidance of Sir Robin Philipson and Elizabeth Blackadder. Following his undergraduate degree Millar attended the famous summer school at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath, and obtained a scholarship to undertake a postgraduate degree in Amsterdam. He also travelled to Berlin and experienced the city’s lively artistic community. Brent subsequently spent 17 years teaching in London before returning to Edinburgh in 1992 to concentrate on his artistic practice.

He creates dreamlike compositions where observation and imagination blend in harmony. His bird pictures in this exhibition provide a powerful symbolic link between music and nature, and, from robins to swans, his works are produced with confident, bold strokes of deep colour. Brent’s practice embraces both print and drawing but he relies on paint as his preferred medium. The influences of Picasso, Matisse and Francis Bacon permeates his work and an impressionist brushstroke is employed in his flower studies.

The other featured artist  is Audrey Grant, whose ‘This is my body’ exhibition arises from her collaboration with Scottish Ballet rehearsals at its studios in Glasgow’s Tramway Theatre. Audrey says that the act of painting is an emotional and physical process whereby paint is layered on over a period of time, scraped back and added again to create a working surface from which a figure begins to emerge.

Audrey applies the paint with brushes, palette knives, rags and her hands as if she is trying to excavate something. She often scratches or scores marks with words and phrased and even mathematical equations in her canvases.

She has exhibited in the highly prestigious Royal Scottish Academy Summer Exhibition (2016) and her work is regularly chosen for the Royal Scottish Academy and the Visual Arts Scotland Open Exhibiions. Grant is a professional member of Visual Arts Scotland. She is based at WASPS studios, Patriothall in Edinburgh.

The current Exhibition continues until Monday 29th May at the Open Eye Gallery, 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE. Telephone 0131 557 1020

Opening hours are Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday 10 am to 4 pm.

 

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