In July 1995 The Tall Ships Race came to Scotland and berthed for several days at Leith. To celebrate this occasion and the opening of The Leith Gallery we held a marine exhibition in a marquee on the dockside. This was greeted with excitement and appreciation and gave us hope that the new gallery would thrive.

It did indeed and twenty years later we return to the sea, if not the marquee, with another Marine Exhibition

As part of the celebration we are introducing Paul Kennedy, an exciting young artist who has won several prizes. He graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2004 and won in 2009 The Royal Glasgow Institute for Arts’ Kelly Gallery Exhibition Award, The Paisley Art Institute Braewell Gallery Exhibition Award and was a finalist in the Aspect Prize. In 2010 he won the David Cargill Award and in 2014 The Paisley Art Institute Liz Knox Award. Whilst better known for his figurative work, in this exhibition he has given us the window of a local fishmonger and several boats.

We are also very pleased to be the first gallery in Scotland to feature the work of Liam Ball the sculptor. Liam’s pieces are made from driftwood, reclaimed wood, brass, copper, pewter, paint and gold leaf. It is not just his skill which is evident but his humour too. As a nod to the Marine Exhibition he has included “Journey to the Bottom of the Sea”

Many of the artists exhibiting have shown their work throughout those twenty years including Annette Edgar, Louis Sinclair McNally and Ricky Wiatrek. Annette’s work has been inspired by her visit to Antigua. But as she said,”Although they are inspired by a certain place they could be from any one of many places. What are they about? Pure joy and exhilaration of the human spirit in nature”. Louis is a little nearer home as this is the path from his house to the beach at Aberlady in East Lothian and we enter the world of the surreal with Ricky’s Nonconformist. Sometimes the connection to the sea can be tenuous!