Since 1998 Jules George has worked full-time as a professional artist. Based at his family home in Suffolk, he has travelled the world, not least in his role as a war artist supported by the Ministry of Defence, notably in Afghanistan in 2010.
The title of Jules’ currentÂ exhibition – Pipes and Drums – at the Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh, sums upÂ theÂ work on show: an exploration of the massed bands of the pipes and drums of the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo. It arises from the fact thatÂ for the year 2015 Jules was Artist in Residence for the EdinburghÂ Royal Military Tattoo. It was an experience that had a profound effect on him.
Jules’ images of pipers and drummers are highly evocative, as well as skilfully portrayed. When we spoke it transpired that this very unassuming, Â gentle man had also been involved with other branches of the Military including the Royal Navy. After his stint as a war artist in Afghanistan, he was so profoundly affected by this ‘posting’ he told me howÂ he had found an inherent spirituality in the stirring images of Scottish soldiers. Complete with pipes and drums and the famous bearskin hats, theseÂ linked with the past and gave him an enduring image of a Scottish identity. In his own words he said, ‘I swapped guns for pipes and drums’.
Working in a variety of media, this set of paintings captures vivid images which are examples of his work which has been commissioned and collected by such organisations as:Â Bonhams, the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, 101 Regiment Engineers Regiment, Laing O’Rourke, the National Army Museum, the National Museum of the Royal Navy and York Museum. Jules very kindly accompanied me round his works and we chose to wet the visitors’ appetite ‘Feathered Bonnets’ (oil on linen) and similarly ‘Times of Glory’ in the same medium.
An amazing story, wonderful art.
The Exhibition runs until Monday 19th September at the Open Eye Gallery, 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH36QE. telephone (0)131 557 1020
Opening times, Monday to Friday 10am to 6 pm and Saturday 10 am to 4 pm.