Scottish artist Blythe Scott’s exhibiting with Morningside Gallery is one of the good things to have emerged out of the lockdowns of the last couple of years. After following each other on Instagram for some months and both being nervous to approach each other due to the physical distance between them – us in Edinburgh and Blythe in Canada – we finally decided to make something happen in the Spring of 2020. The first collection of paintings went down incredibly well, despite the gallery being closed to the public and only window and online viewings possible. Each subsequent group of paintings has captivated its audience in the two years since, culminating in the decision to host a large solo show of Blythe’s work this September, entitled Come A Little Closer. What’s more, Blythe is coming over from Canada to be at the exhibition and meet some of her collectors!
A graduate of Glasgow School of Art with a keen interest in Edinburgh’s architecture, the starting point for Blythe’s Edinburgh cityscapes is usually reality. However, during their creation, they quickly take on a quality that is more intuitive and semi abstract. The purpose of these works is to communicate Blythe’s emotional experience of the city and the impression it leaves rather than to describe it factually. A combination of observed drawing, abstraction and a playful, inventive use of materials characterise these paintings. While these cityscapes have been created thousands of miles away on Vancouver Island, the lack of proximity has in some ways been an advantage. Nostalgia’s palette is bright and distance has encouraged Blythe to focus on her artistic response rather than cling too closely to reality and what might be viewed differently owing to familiarity. She creates a pleasing blend of fact and fiction. Blythe’s Edinburgh fireworks paintings – her ‘Hootenanny Series’ – are perhaps her most colourful and feature the most unbridled abstraction. These are paintings that display vigorous mark making, technicolour palettes and texture you will want to touch.
In addition to the cityscapes and hootenannies featured in the exhibition are harbours, havens and dreamscapes. The starting point for each artwork in the dreamscape series is observed study of existing Scottish landscapes. Thereafter, Blythe allows a more dreamlike, intuitive and romantic approach to take over her process. The work is intended to allow the viewer to escape to a place outside of reality, where time of day, season or even a need for plausibility, melt away. Harmonious layers of merging colour, abstraction, embellishments and mark making as well as an enjoyment of contrasting surfaces and textures, all characterise the works in this collection.
BLYTHE SCOTT SOLO SHOW
‘COME A LITTLE CLOSER’
3rd – 18th September
Private View and Meet the Artist: Friday 2nd September 6 – 8.30pm – All Welcome