An Exhibition of etchings and watercolours of Scottish Islands by Norman Ackroyd will be showing at The Fine Art Society in Edinburgh from Friday 2nd October. It will run until Saturday 31st October.
Over the past 40 years, Norman Ackroyd has been repeatedly drawn to some of Scotland’s most magical, remote and rugged islands. Working on site, often in challenging weather conditions, the artist makes records of the seas, the rocks, the skies and the birds.
A favourite location for the artist is the archipelago that is St. Kilda, which Ackroyd first visited in 1988 and is an area which continues to provide him with much material and inspiration today. The Inner Hebrides, The Minches, The Orkney Islands and The Shetland Islands, including: Unst - the most northerly inhabited island in the British Isles, and Muckle Flugga are some of the artist’s more recent locations for exploration.
This exhibition consists of watercolours from A Shetland Notebook, and etchings from 3 different bodies of work produced over the last few years. Highlights from the show include images of the mysterious Flannan Islands; Sula Sgeir – an island where gannets are still harvested for food, and the fertile North Rona with its’ famous early St Ronan’s church.
Norman Ackroyd was elected a Royal Academician in 1991 and was made Senior Fellow, Royal College of Art in 2000. He lives and works in London.
*"My watercolours always start with pencil. I have a great set of Derwent watercolour pencils and as soon as the boat sets off from port, I use them to warm myself up, spraying water on the pencil marks so that their rich pigment runs, then using my fingers or brushes to draw with the paint.
I hire fishing boats and I attach all my materials to the table on deck with grips so that they stay in place when the sea is choppy. It’s exciting painting in stormy weather and my marks begin to reflect the movement of the boat. What I hope for most when I’m painting is for all my rational thoughts to disappear: my eye, heart and hand become connected, and then I can distil the real essence of the landscape.
St. Kilda to Muckle Flugga is roughly the same distance as Edinburgh to London - but is a road much less travelled by."* - Norman Ackroyd
"A working class lad from Leeds who went on to find himself at the Royal College of Art in the Swinging Sixties; one of Britain’s finest landscape artists." - Claire Webb Radio Times