The Scottish Gallery is proud to have put together this collection of oils and works on paper by two artists inextricably linked to the Gallery's own history. The exhibition coincides with the launch of Philip MacLeod Coupe's publication Paintings of Iona: Cadell and Peploe. The book charts Cadell and Peploe's painting activity on Iona, the resulting pictures of which were often exhibited with Atiken Dott.
Iona is a place of astonishing beauty, pristine in an ancient sense, essentially unchanged since its complex geology settled in the Torridonian Era. The island's character lies in its archaeological traces, pagan and holy, and in its remoteness. The island is so small that any visitor arrives and looks outward; the view starts from where you have planted your feet but goes out to Mull, to Staffa, to the Treshnish Isles. Past Tiree and Coll to Rhum, south to Islay and Jura. It is this marriage between the particular character of place and its location as a platform from which to see out and beyond which must have captivated Cadell and Peploe. On Iona the merest shift of a viewpoint of a few degrees offered each a vista of new and perfect charms. Add the adventure of changing weather and the subject became limitless: an emotional and even spiritual response prevailed over the intellectual travails of winter in an Edinburgh studio, a tardy model or a wilting still life.
Their visits would not always coincide but Cadell and Peploe each made an annual pilgrimage to Iona, experiences valuable to them as artists and as friends. The manifest beauty of the island required no feats of the imagination or artistic license for these two brother painters to be inspired and to leave a legacy in paint and a way of seeing now ingrained in how we feel about the Scottish landscape.