The presented body of work within my exhibition is focused on Scotland and my Scottish heritage. The concept of the display pays tribute to my origins and homeland including its iconic rugged landscape, environment, history and Scottish artists; Anna King, Alasdair Gray and Steven Campbell. In presenting my exhibition I am inviting the viewer into the Scotland I remember as a child, and to experience my heritage and family history. I am particularly proud of my Scottish heritage and through my artistic journey aim to honour my parents and our Scottish background. My parents initially inspired me to look at my origins as a basis for my art work. Although I have immigrated to Australia with my family, Scotland is entrenched within me, and my work is a celebration of the Scotland of my youth and the country for which I long to return.
The vision of exhibition is an acknowledgement of Scottish culture and my heritage as a visual narrative. The art work is linked by Scottish themes and sub-topics including the landscape, historical ruined castles, colours associated with Scotland and family souvenirs. The presentation of the artworks flow in a manner that illustrates culture, and then dives into my personal connections associated with Scotland. All the work within the exhibition are presented to maximise their visual appearance and to entice the viewer to appreciate my Scotland. ‘The Rusty Stones of Callanish’ and ‘Castle Ruins’ are works which depicts my favourite Scottish monuments the ‘Standing Stones of Callanish’ and Dunnottar Castle. In completing these works, I aimed to represent the strong majestic shapes they portray within the landscape. I utilised rust paint within the work to provide the notion of power and strength. To further link my concept to the Scottish landscape and history I incorporated representations of ruined castles made from Styrofoam. To the appearance of deterioration, I applied the colours of grey, blue and green representative of Scottish stones, and acetone to areas which dissolved and appeared similar to a castle ruin. Within the Callanish Stones art work I aimed to include the element of movement to represent the wind blowing over the rolling Scottish hills. In order to do this, I hung the stones in front of the static castle so they move with slight breeze. Additionally, I explored the concept of space in the presentation of this work. To achieve this, I positioned the Styrofoam castle on the wall and then hung the stone depictions form the ceiling away from the wall to create the feeling of depth. I chose to present this work in this creative manner as it connects two aspects of Scottish environment natural & man-made formations. Within some of my artworks, I repeated specific techniques and ideas, to them further than just through concept alone. This is represented in thistle inspired ‘Cardo’ and ‘Scottish Landscape’ in which I utilised an impressionistic brushstroke technique in order to create a sense of movement through the application of thin brush strokes of impasto paint. These works further link to Scotland and other works through the use of vivid blues and greens which to me symbolise Scotland. The native flower of Scotland is the Thistle, which is my mother’s favourite flower. Within my exhibition I further explored the Thistle in gold leaf painting and a series of photograms which celebrate the shape of the iconic Scottish symbol. The work ‘Annie & Mary’ is a personal depiction of my grandmother in Scotland. The presentation of this work was enhanced through separating the composition into sections each representing her children. This work is linked to other exhibited work through the theme of heritage.
Within my exhibition I strove to display my pieces similar to a memento album in which personal images are displayed to tell a narrative of my Scotland. The display communicates a personal visual journey including personal works associated with relatives, heritage and personal souvenirs. My heritage is showcased in different approaches and techniques, ranging from digital photos to lino-prints. The overall display of my work, creates a story and tribute to my homeland, with the intention of creatively depicting different visual aspects of Scotland, and the importance of valuing your heritage.