David Morrison – Wild Caithness
8 – 28 May 2005
David Morrison was born in Glasgow but made Caithness his permanent (and spiritual home) in 1965. He has made a significant contribution to the artistic community in the North and has an established reputation as short story writer, poet and painter. David was the leading light behind the Wick Festival of Poetry Folk and Jazz and Folk and launched the Scotia Review which still thrives, although now under a different editor. He is soon to publish a collection of his poems.
The selection of Morrison’s work exhibited Timespan until the end of May, represents about 50% of his 2004 output. He works mostly in acrylic, which for him is the most exciting medium. “I put all my careful thought into a painting beforehand, then once I get started, and because acrylic dries fast, I have to work very quickly indeed. I do this until – to steal the expression from Neil Gunn – I find “the atom of delight” If I find that atom, then the picture will have meaning for me.”
The eight painting on display are richly textured in paint and collage. They make a beautiful collection seen together, but each one is absorbing in its own way, and were well received at the Timespan opening on Sunday afternoon. The overall sense of these paintings is very moving. Morrison draws on a very fragile ecosystem and landscape for his inspiration and then seems to overwhelm its delicacy with the force of nature, in huge great sweeps.
8 – 28 May 2005
For the first time ever, Timespan is holding an exhibition of film animation. CAPTIVATE ANIMATION which opened on Sunday and runs through till the end of May is a selection of the best available talent in Scotland today and is essential viewing.
For those without access to trendy urban art cinemas or slightly arcane film festivals, it is very difficult to enjoy the delights of art animation, and indeed most people are not even aware of its existence. Yet this is a genre that predates the last century and worldwide has always supported an astonishing array of talent. Animation is cheaper to create than film, and a single dedicated artist can produce very important work on a shoestring budget. While not all productions are so frugal (especially nowadays), it is in the nature of animation to focus on the personal and the specific. Invariably it has something to say about the strangeness of human nature, irony and injustice. Although it can sometimes be very funny, art animation is more likely to be a wry smile than a belly laugh. Sometimes it is also very shocking. And it can be beautiful and uplifting.
An Tuireann Arts Centre in Skye has drawn together a showcase of animation from Scottish artists at different stages in their career and brought it to Timespan, courtesy of Highland Council. This is the first time the gallery has featured animation in a dedicated exhibition and it is a very exciting package. The quality of the animation scene in Scotland is evident from the calibre of films on show, and it will surprise and delight new audiences.
Set aside a good hour to watch the entire show. You won’t be disappointed.
Highlights include the lyrical and charming Takuskanaskan by Selina Cobley which tells a mythological story of creation and what it takes to bring the rain down to replenish the earth. The film’s energy and dynamism is all the greater for being portrayed in such a gentle way.
Boxed In by Will Becher draws one into a funny but heartbreaking tale of loneliness and frustration that ends in triumph.
Promise Land by Gili Dolev, returns to familiar ground for animation artists in making a political point. There are no heroes in this clever “journalists view” of the Arab Israeli conflict.
Robb Ellender’s Insight which is an abstract voyage through space and time, is a fabulous production. Totally gripping but without even a sideways reference to anything so prosaic as a storyline.
The Pipers Of Bornish by Catriona Black has a touch of the creepy about it but is immaculate in its sound and visuals. And there are others of equal calibre.