Serenity at The Open Eye

Unless there is a solo exhibition at any gallery, regular readers will know I usually cover most of the work on show. However, the current exhibition at Edinburgh’s Open Eye Gallery compels me to concentrate on the moving and beautiful story told in works by Susie Leiper.

Susie Leiper’s work is inspired by the late Nan Shepherd and Nan’s book ‘The Living Mountain’. Susie says ‘I seek a kind of soothing serenity in my work, like the escapism afforded by the mountains. I love being in them: Scotland’s Munros, the French Pyrenees, the sacred peaks of China. As a tribute to Nan Shepherd and the mountains of Scotland most of the painting titles refer to Scotland’s Munros, in translation from the Gaelic.’

Looking at these images in a moment of calm as the first day of this new exhibition began, I too felt I was in a space of great, almost spiritual, tranquillity. There is hardly any colour used in the mostly small calligraphic works but this does not deter from their impact – rather the reverse.

Hill of the clamshell5Susie’s interest in calligraphy and painting grew out of an editorial career where she specialised in books on Chinese Art and archaeology. The use of Chinese paper using ink and, in some cases gouache, is a characteristic of her work. Also she paints in oil on canvas. Many of the works are small in size but this simply intensifies their effects.

She has exhibited many times since 1997 and has received both commissions and awards. Her work is in a number of collections including the British Museum, London; Edinburgh College of Art; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Glamis Castle, Angus; as well as the National Library of Scotland and the National Museums of Scotland

Born and educated in Glasgow, Susie has degrees from the University of St Andrews and the Courtauld Institute of Art.  She is a Fellow of the Society of Scribes and illuminators. Now Susie works freelance in Edinburgh, being involved for some time with a painters’ group run by Paul Keir.

This latest Exhibition runs until Wednesday 22 April at The Open Eye, 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE.

Contact: 0131 5571020, or

Hours are Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday 10 am to 4 pm

All the works are well worth going along to see and buy.



Published by

Christine Richard OBE FRSA Christine has over 25 years' experience in public life in Scotland in the fields of politics, education, public relations and charity work. For 12 years she served on the City of Edinburgh District Council and was her Group's leader for 4 years. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1992 she was made an OBE. Christine is a member of the Board of The Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy. She has just completed six years on the Board of The Edinburgh International Festival. Christine's business experience has covered the fields of theatre, economic development, science, coal mining, education and training. She has held a number of non-executive directorships in these disciplines. She is a trained and experienced personal relationships counsellor and a business and personal mentor. In 2005 Christine established Christine Richard Associates who undertake Event Management and Public Relations as well as company and individual profiling. She coordinated the 'Yes to Edinburgh' campaign on congestion charging in Edinburgh. ten years ago Christine co-founded West Lothian Women in Business, which is a network for women who are self-employed and also for women managers. Christine has now stepped down from the Chair of this thriving organisation. For 5 years Christine was a magistrate in the District Court. She was also a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on the appointment of Justices of the Peace. She has been an adviser to Government in various areas of policy, including health, local government and education. Christine is a trained and experienced radio and television broadcaster and writer as well as an entertaining and accomplished speaker. She has a wealth of topics on which she is invited to speak. These range from witty after lunch and after dinner speaking to the more serious topics of the economy, health, education, enterprise, the Powers of the Mind and Life/work balance. She writes reviews and articles for lifestyle magazine, Lothian Life. She took part as a contestant in an ITV gourmet TV show, Chef V Britain, challenging TV chef Gino D'Acampo to cook her signature dish, Posh Cottage Pie. Currently Christine is a member of the Goodison Group in Scotland and Scotland's Futures. Also she is involved in the group Changing the Chemistry of Scottish Boards. Her first novel, Whitewalls, a modern Scottish family saga has been published by New Generation Publishing and is available on all internet books siets and from libraries. She is writing a sequel Autumn at Whitewalls. Her leisure interests include her family, literature, music, theatre, food, wine and horse racing. She is a member of a racing syndicate, which has two horses in training.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *