Our Mixed Summer Exhibition is a riot of colour and brings together ten fantastic Scottish artists – Joe Hargan PAI PPAI, George Birrell, Simon Laurie RSW RGI, Marion Drummond PAI, Andrew Thompson, Nael Hanna, Francis Boag, Christopher Wood RSW, Mhairi McGregor RSW and, for the first time, Mike Healey. This is an exhibition that celebrates a variety of styles and subject matter and we are especially delighted to include a number of abstract paintings from Simon Laurie, Joe Hargan, Nael Hanna and Christopher Wood. The exhibition opens on Saturday the 25th of June, and we hope you will join us for refreshments in the gallery from 12 – 5pm.
JOE HARGAN PAI PPAI
Born in 1952 in Glasgow, Joe studied Drawing and Painting at Glasgow School of Art from 1970 – 74. A well recognised and respected figure on the Scottish art scene, Joe was President and Chairman of the Paisley Art Institute from1989 – 2000 and President of the Glasgow Art Club until 2020. A master of colour and tongue in cheek humour, Joe’s paintings offer humorous and sometimes surreal vignettes of the good life, featuring Sniffy and various other characters within striking gallery and stately home settings. Recurring symbols and metaphors abound within the paintings, and one is often treated to a painting within a painting, an old master within a new master. We are delighted to show a number of Joe’s paintings within this exhibition, including large abstracts, paintings from his Sniffy series and his smaller figurative works.
We are delighted to introduce Mike Healey to Morningside Gallery. Mike studied under John Cunningham both at school and at Glasgow School of Art, winning the Haldane Drawing Prize and the Leverhulme Travelling Scholarship. In the early 1980s he taught at the School of Art and worked there until 1997. In 2003 Mike was awarded the Chair of Professor of Art and Design at the University of Lincoln. Mike has exhibited extensively in London, New York, Philadelphia, Maryland, Bermuda, Japan and in his native Scotland. His rich still lifes and evocative, spontaneous ‘plein air’ paintings of the highlands and islands feel contemporary, whilst also carrying the baton of a strong Scottish colourist tradition.
Andrew studied painting at Glasgow School of Art and graduated in 1997. He now lives and works on the Black Isle in the Highlands of Scotland. His work can be found in many private collections, including the collection of HRH The Duchess of Rothesay. Andrew paints a wide range of still life subjects and this latest collection of paintings features his flower and fruit studies, along with a number of exquisitely painted Chinese ceramics and silverware.
SIMON LAURIE RSW RGI
Simon studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1982 to 1988. He was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours (RSW) in 1991 and the Royal Glasgow Institute (RGI) in 2000, where he served as convener for six years. He has had many solo shows, both in the UK and abroad, and has won many prestigious and major awards. Simon’s paintings are characterised by references to Scottish life and society, incorporating fish, boats, religious symbols and everyday items. These objects are arranged upon a rich textural ground created by the application of multiple layers of acrylic paint. He has worked with acrylic paint for almost 30 years, developing his own individual style and visual language.
Born in Neneveh, Northern Iraq , Nael Hanna studied Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee after gaining a scholarship to study abroad. It was here that he fell in love with the Scottish landscape and coastline and in particular the drama of the changing weather. Nael has won a number of awards and is exhibited widely throughout the UK. Nael’s passion for painting is unmistakable; his works are a visceral and immediate response to his subjects, with each painting developing an emotional charge and a rhythm of its own. He prefers to paint outdoors, setting up easel in the fields outside his Angus home and responding to the different colours each season brings.
MHAIRI MCGREGOR RSW
Mhairi McGregor studied at Glasgow School of Art, under Barbara Rae and Jimmy Robertson. An avid traveller and winner of numerous travel scholarships as an undergraduate, and professional artist (the GSA, the RSA and the RSW), Mhairi has lived for extended periods in Paris, Florence, Languedoc and New Mexico. Her work was accepted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London on her first attempt and she continues to be recognised by her peers an exceptional artist. Mhairi is known for her expressive and often abstract flower compositions. Planning the composition and deciding on the colours is the first stage but then it is all about building up the surface. From a few key marks, rose petals and leaves emerge, often bursting out jauntily from pots and vases.
Francis was born in Dundee and studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in the late sixties where his tutors included Alberto Morrocco and David McClure. He went on to balance a successful teaching career with his artistic practice before the increasing demand for his work enabled him to leave education and become a full time professional artist in 2001. Since then, Francis has worked steadily to establish himself as one of the leading figures in a new generation of Scottish Colourists. He works in thin layers of acrylic paint which are built up to create layers of vivid colour and depth with rough, collaged elements adding texture and a vibrant, unpredictable quality to his surfaces.
A graduate of Glasgow School of Art, George Birrell has enjoyed a long career in teaching and now paints full time from his studio in East Lothian. When he was 15 George visited the villages of the East Neuk of Fife and he’s been fascinated by them ever since. These are villages with such a unique character, and one that contrasts strongly with some of the more dramatic and wild subjects of Scottish landscape paintings. George’s paintings are never of specific villages but they pull together the many elements – the architecture, alleyways, harbours and fishing creels – that are quintessentially East Neuk.
MARION DRUMMOND PAI
Marion has been working as a professional fine art painter for almost thirty years. Her inimitable style has established her as one of Scotland’s most recognisable and sought after artists and she was recently awarded PAI (Paisley Art Institute). Taking her inspiration from the folds in petals or fabric to the translucent shimmer of a water filled vase, Marion captures the moment and portrays it with intimacy and warmth. She completely immerses herself in the visceral act of painting, often using rags and her fingers within a dynamic painting process. We are delighted to feature three still life paintings in this exhibition.
CHRISTOPHER WOOD RSW
Christopher Wood studied drawing and painting at Edinburgh College of Art and has been painting and exhibiting professionally since graduating in 1984. He is an elected member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour and a past president of the Society of Scottish Artists. Christopher combines oils, acrylic, collage and mixed media to create multi-layered, abstract compositions.