Sunday, 8 March 2015
Jackie Gardiner is an Arbroath-based painter of mostly Scottish seascapes and landscapes in a semi-abstract style. Her first solo show in Edinburgh – A Coastal Tale – has just begun at the Union Gallery.
Some of Gardiner's works are clearly recognisable evocations of boats and bays and foregrounded flowers set against the sea.
Others – like 'The Boathouse' (right) – take a little careful looking at before their literal subjects emerge from the play of painted colour and texture.
Others still are so abstract as to bear almost no obvious relation to their titles or the 3D world of depth perception and pinpoint 20/20 focus. As one for whom the world is a bit of a blur even at the best of times, it is these works which move and interest me most.
I entered this exhibition of over 50 paintings determined not to let my enthusiasm for Gardiner's work carry me away. I would, I said, allow myself to think about no more than 10 particular favourites.
After four circuits of the Union Gallery yesterday, I had whittled it down to a shortlist of 27.
Today, I’m reluctantly being brutal and will consider just five more.
‘A Field by the Sea’ is a rather modestly sized work, hung high on the wall in this exhibition. Something about its elevation there reminded me of a hill planted with rape on the coast in East Lothian. I once saw it suddenly and amazingly lit by sunshine on an otherwise rain-scudded afternoon. Something of that transient thrill returns on looking at this work. I find it simultaneously sad, exciting and and cheering long after I've reasoned how little like my memory of that hill it is...
Read the full review at the Spurtle website