An incredible Scottish figurative painter and sculptor, Walter Awlson exhibited regularly with Morningside Gallery from its beginnings in 2003, until he put down his brushes and tools in order to follow another of his passions – the theatre – and in particular stage set design and construction. After some years the urge to paint returned and this rare and exciting exhibition marks a return full circle for Walter, to painting and to exhibiting at Morningside Gallery.
This group of seventeen paintings features scenes from well known and lesser known plays, from Othello to The Cemetery Club, all performed by the Alman Dramatic Club at the Coach House Theatre Alloa. Bringing together all of Walter’s interests and skills, the paintings not only feature the dramatic scenes of the plays but also the stage sets that he has designed and helped to build over the last twelve years.
Walter’s work as an artist has always centred on the human figure and after working on the stage sets for some years, he realised that he had to hand a large collection of images from his past productions which involved the figure but with costume, lighting, setting, emotion and character – drama! As Walter puts it: ‘Where else would I get to do paintings the same size as “Guernica”, make chimney pots or a stag’s head or construct classical columns and revolving bookcases? What could be better?’ Having moved away from his more traditional subject matter of women draped in beautiful cloths and white sheets – this series of paintings has set Walter on a course concentrating on character and psychology in the portrait.
We are honoured to host such a dramatic and compelling exhibition during this year’s Edinburgh Festival month, a fitting celebration of a return to Edinburgh’s annual festival of the arts. We look forward to welcoming Walter and some of the actors and actresses featured in the play during our private view and we hope that the exhibition will be appreciated by many.