-> 2007 -> Valerie Ross Johnston Art Exhibition on Islay

Wednesday, 30/May/2007

Valerie Ross Johnston Art Exhibition on Islay

Picture of a drawing of a hill

John MacFarlane contacted me recently about an upcoming art exhibition on Islay. The exhibition ‘Ancient Landscape’ will show work by Valerie Ross Johnston, a professional graduate artist, art lecturer and teacher, at the Gaelic College in Bowmore. It will be from the 16th of June to the 11th of July 2007 inclusive. On the 15th of June a private viewing is to be held at Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle at 18:00hrs and will be opened by her husband Brigadier JM Macfarlane. John provided some further information about his wife's work:

Valerie directly descends from an Islay family of Johnstons or MacIains who farmed Corrary, Tallant, Neriby and Cruach since at least the second half of the 17th century and which was latterly involved in the production of malt whisky in the island, particularly at Laphroaig. The family whisky!!

Picture of an abstract painting

Valerie’s training in jewellery and textile design permeates her work. She is fascinated by the rich tapestry of monument, myth and folklore that surrounds her in the Gaelic islands and mainland glens of Argyll. These themes emerge in strong, jewel-like, colourful paintings. They are multi-faceted, iconic images, which connect with the pre-historic and historic structures, beliefs and rituals of an ancient landscape. Their Gaelic and English titles interpret this aspect of her work.

Because colour and surface textures are very important elements in her painting, the artist uses a wide range of media to express herself, which include oils, local sand, gesso and a variety of two-dimensional materials. These produce unique effects that bring out the representational qualities of the subject.

As I'm going to be on Islay again in late June I'm planning to visit the exhibition. John told me there will also be some Islay oriented paintings from Ardnave, Finlaggan etc.

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