A solo exhibition by Kevin Low
There’s this room... nothing much else.
Women and men, some sleeping, some wrestling, some quietly standing alone.
Shadows, light, flesh and blood...
nothing much else.
Kevin Low (March 2017)
Kevin Low is one of those people with an over-abundance of talents. He's a fine, but largely unrecognised, author of complex prose filled with beauty and darkness. He takes startlingly good photographs: haunting close-ups of china figurines that make the domestic seem agonised or carnivorous and bizarre snapshots of arranged insanity. He was, for several years a photographer of stage performances: the lighting, the precisely chosen moments, the drama.
In Women And Men it seems that Kevin has brought all these strands together in one resonant collection of painted images. (He paints, too - of course... ) Here we see figures caught in moments of intimacy and confusion. There is a domestic familiarity in some of the nudes, something early morning and blurred. In other frames the silliness, the passion, the obsession and failure of sex all riot about. Bodies retreat, turn, shift, present themselves, with and without balloons.
Kevin's viewpoint is photographic, it picks the angles, the moments, it doesn't judge. But there is drama here, too. The fall of light is theatrical, cunning. Sometimes bodies have partners that are visible and simple, sometimes they seem to be making love to shadows, being preyed upon by shadows, even devoured. The brightness of skin seems to flare up out of liquid darkness. And behind each human drama lies a backdrop, a wild blending of night and the blood red one would find in Goya, in a closed eye facing light. It could be the colours of sex, love, anger, death - the joy of these pieces is that Kevin sets the scenes, conjures the cast and leaves us to decide.
Once you've seen his women and his men you won't forget them, they are insidious as dreams, as fragile, tender and bleak.
Established to bring the very best of the contemporary art scene to the public view, and to offer the finest service to buyer and artist alike, UNIONgallery is a gallery with a...
These are just a few of our forthcoming exhibitions. Click on the titles to find out more, or visit the Exhibitions page to see what else is coming soon.
Henry Jabbour at the UNIONgallery
12 March 2017
Like many others locally, we’ve missed the Union Gallery since its removal from Broughton Street to larger premises on Drumsheugh Place.
A visit to the West End on Friday showed that Union’s owner Alison Auldjo has lost none of her knack for finding and nurturing great new talent, most recently that of Henry Jabbour.
Jabbour came late to painting, and was already a successful scientist with the Medical Research Council by the time he joined Leith School of Art in 2005. Consumed by this new calling, he became a full-time artist two years later.
This Life to Me is his first solo exhibition, and it’s a phenomenally successful debut.
By Eleanor Duffy
Photo - Colin Hattersley
An Edinburgh scientist is to open his first solo art exhibition after leaving behind his career to follow his dream.
Henry Jabbour worked for nearly 20 years in the Medical School at Edinburgh University but quit in 2010 to pursue his love of art full-time.
Despite training to be a biologist, Henry found his true calling in painting and has since studied at Leith School of Art in Edinburgh and the New York Academy of Art.
His prints and portraiture work have won praise in the art world and he is now preparing for the launch of his first solo exhibition this weekend.
A solo exhibition by Jenny Matthews: UNIONgallery – a bouquet of fragrant flowers
6 September 2016
UNIONgallery is owned and managed by contemporary artist Alison Auldjo. Originally opening on Broughton Street in 2009, the stylish new premises at the West End has the ideal space and design over two floors to show solo exhibitions, mixed collections, crafts and sculpture. The emphasis is on showing work from established painters who do not exhibit in Scotland, to exciting new Scottish and international talent.
Jenny Matthews studied at Edinburgh College of Art under Elizabeth Blackadder DBE, John Houston and Ann Oran, graduating in 1986. Since then, she has earned a fine reputation as an accomplished watercolourist, exhibiting in the UK and abroad.
Stepping into the Uniongallery to see her new solo exhibition, ‘Sapphire Skies,’ is like taking a stroll across country meadows and along the seashore, so tangible that you can almost smell the fragrant flowers. The soft shades of pinks, mauve, coral red and corn yellow, capture their natural beauty and texture, from beautifully arranged vases and bouquets to land and seacapes and decorative still life compositions.
Here are the first buds of Spring and Summer gardens, a flourish of sweet peas, irises and parrot tulips, as well as pretty thrift and lichen sprouting along the rocky shore at St. Abbs. The artistry is exquisite, meticulous botanical drawings, detailing each petal, stamen, puffs of pollen and green leaf, enhanced through the subtle tone and translucent quality of watercolour.
16 August 2016 Adam Barclay
UNIONGallery, 4 Drumsheugh Pl, Edinburgh
Exhibition continues until September 12
Open Monday to Saturday 10.30am – 5.30pm
The UNION Gallery had their first solo exhibition launch at their new premises on Drumsheugh Place this week, and what a strong first impression it was! The new space, previously a low ceilinged charity shop, is unrecognisable as a classic Edinburgh gallery, resplendent with cornicing and high ceilings! It makes for a fantastic space to show off the works of award-winning water-colourist Jenny Mathews in her third solo exhibition.
The pieces on display are varied in style and dimension but all share a distinctly high quality and impressive artistic feel. With several pieces having been reserved even as they were being hung, it was obvious that Jenny’s work is in high demand. Large works to tie whole rooms together were displayed, alongside horizontal sets, unusual for the artist, and smaller high-detail pieces. Jenny studied botanical illustration under Dame Elizabeth Blackadder and the inspiration is clear in her work, supremely detailed botanical images but with a clear style of her own.
17 July 2016
When Alison Auldjo began converting a former charity shop into the second incarnation of the Union Gallery, removing a lowered ceiling and turning a pokey back storage room into a well-lit stairwell, she knew exactly the picture she wanted in the space. It was Phil Braham’s Ophelia Bathing, a painting she had seen in the Scottish Gallery a few years ago, when it was ‘best in show’ but went unsold. “I went to see him to tell him about the new place, ‘Phil, come and see the space, you will see exactly what I mean about your painting’,” she said. The work uses a backdrop from the Water of Leith; Ophelia is bathing, not drowning, It is unobtrusively thought-provoking: the bather’s shoulders above smooth water, calmly swimming a ladylike breast-stroke, in a moment of reflection, before Hamlet stirs things up.
Auldjo put a second considerable picture by Braham in the window of her gallery for its reopening a few weeks back. The work, 21st Century Sublime, shows rolling hills around a Scottish valley cloaked in misty skies, the kind of view you’d find coming down from a Munro, but Graham’s last touch was to put a fighter jet flicking across it. “We have all seen scenes like that in the Highlands. It’s eery, it’s quite bleak, but it’s beautiful,” said Auldjo. My first ill-thought guess is Glencoe; but it’s more the gentler landscape of Aviemore, where two low-flying planes roared past on a recent walk, their sound gathering behind them.
When Auldjo closed the Union Gallery in Broughton Street, after seven years on a wonderfully prominent corner of one of Edinburgh’s couthiest streets, I had wondered if she would really be back. There are too many stories of galleries that seem to wilt under pressure: in Edinburgh the old Doggerfisher, the recently downsized Ingleby Gallery, in London the impact of skyrocketing real estate. I’ve heard old dealers lately saying traditional Scottish art markets are dead, and artists facing hard times, though that is not exactly new.
16th August 2017
Kevin Low is an artist living and working in Glasgow, his new exhibition Women & Men is currently on show at the Union Gallery in Edinburgh.
What drives your passion – when did you know that art is what you wanted to do?
It’s an obsession. It’s something I have to do, or I get sick. I hesitate to say that because I think that’s how most artists feel. I don’t have a choice. That makes it sound like it’s a chore, like being bullied by the subconscious, but nah, it’s a bloody thrill, every time. There is nothing better in the world than creating stuff.
As a kid, I grew up on a farm. I expected to become a cattleman, I really did. It was a very small world. I think it was pop music that gave me that first buzz in my gut, that invitation to step away from the ‘real world’. Mr David Bowie, I owe you a lot.
You trained initially as a biologist and worked as a scientist, has this part of your past influenced your current art practice of painting people?
I am sure it has but sometimes it is very difficult to pinpoint how.
I firmly believe that the way I look at, and my empathy towards, the human figure is hugely influenced and informed by my past experiences (being brought up in Lebanon at the time of the civil war) and my subsequent education.
Photo - Colin Hattersley
Dennis the Dog and his new best friend, artist Henry Jabbour, would like you to have a look at the Scots Magazine's website. There's a tremendous photo of Dennis there, and something about a great new exhibition. But the photo of Dennis is just the bestest thing ever!
While we admit we're a little biased, we have to agree with the Scots magazine (and Dennis) - this is a great exhibition of exquisite works by Henry Jabbour, and you really shouldn't miss it!
Read the full article at the Scots Magazine website
The exhibition will open on September 4th at the Union Gallery in Edinburgh. With a selection of new paintings and wrought iron sculpture, James invites viewers to look and, as the show’s title suggests, see, through the eyes of the characters in his created world. Using his distinctive and very direct style, the artist reflects on his own experience of life in the Highlands and Islands.