Gracefield Celebrates 70 years

Gracefield Galleries in Dumfries celebrates 70 years with an exhibition by Kate Downie RSA.Between Seasons features 8 major tree paintings in oil on linen, each one closely observed and mirrored exactly 6 months apart in time.

Created in Downie’s rural Fife studio during the covid pandemic, they are personal acts of love and nurture painted.

Like an hourglass, the paintings have 2 bases and can be turned through 180 degrees, representing the cycle of seasons at a time when we, as humans, have remained in one place due to travel restrictions.

Living a life of deferment and postponement while, at times, acting as a carer for her elderly mother has prompted Downie to reflect on how she works. She has had to learn to stay still surrounded by village life, nature, mature trees, and her studio.
Having spent the last 25 years exploring an artistic vision for the extremes of a Scottish urban/industrial landscape and Scotland’s coastal edge-scapes, she’s now exploring a more conceptual approach to the secret world of plants and trees over time, and how they impact on our lives.

With this work presented on the ground floor and stairwell, upstairs the artist has curated a complementary show of more than 30 artists selected from the Gracefield permanent collection, including Andy Goldsworthy, Silvana McLean, William Gillies, and Archie Sutter Watt.

Most works are available to buy, including a new print edition created for the Gracefield exhibition.

A full colour catalogue is available, priced £10.

You can book a visit slot online, see: www.dgculture.co.uk or just drop-in.
Councillor Andy Ferguson, chair of the Communities committee, Andy said: “Kate Downie is establishing a reputation as one of Scotland finest living artists. Her ability to connect through her work and inspire a second look at the familiar, both the local and the wider landscape, is always a joy to see.”

In Gallery 2 a very special retrospective exhibition continues: 20/20 Re:VISION by Freda Blackwood. So far, it’s been very well received by more than 1000 visitors so far. The exhibition includes Freda’s work, which includes costume, sculpture, painting, and printmaking.

Visitor comments include: “A wonder, what fabulous talent and a terrific story”; “Such an amazing local artist. I’d not seen her work before and it was a treat to see such a wonderful artistic life.”

The exhibition continues until Saturday 4 September, Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, free admission .

Councillor John Martin, vice chair of the Communities committee, said: “Gracefield always offers a warm welcome to visitors and locals and I’d recommend a visit to these stunning free exhibitions.”

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