A series of nine contemporary artworks recently gifted to the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation Art Collection are currently on display at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Pelican Gallery. A slideshow of the pieces and along with descriptions of the artists and pieces themselves is provided below.
The artworks were gifted by the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) as part of the Arnott Hamilton Fund. Rev Dr James Arnott Hamilton made a financial gift in 1959, with a desire that it be invested into a fund for the annual donation of an artwork to “a body which would appreciate it and display it where it could be seen by as many people as possible – e.g. hospitals, old peoples’ homes, art galleries, banks, etc.”
The artworks, by RSA Academicians or Associate members, are purchased from the RSA Annual Exhibition. One of the first awards from the fund, oil painting ‘On The Tweed’ by Sir William MacTaggart, was made to Lothian Health Board in 1962 and also currently hangs in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
The artworks will be shown at other NHS Lothian hospitals next year before finding more permanent homes across our sites.
ELHF holds the second largest NHS art collection in Scotland, providing distraction and enjoyment for thousands of patients every year across NHS Lothian hospital and community sites. The collection comprises over 2,500 original artworks located across 30 sites and forms part of the diverse ELHF Arts & Health programme, enhancing the patient experience and healthcare environment.
Royal Scottish Academy (RSA)
The RSA runs a year-round programme of exhibitions, artist opportunities and related educational talks and events which support artists at all stages of their careers. Led by eminent artists and architects, the RSA embodies a wealth of professional experience in Fine Art and Architecture with many of its Members taking a leading role in higher education and in many of Scotland’s leading cultural institutions.
Descriptions – click here
1 Lamb Elspeth_Spirit Canoe (2)
Spirit Canoe was inspired by the artists visit to the Museum of the American Indian in New York, home to the world’s most extensive collection of Native American arts and artefacts. The print is based on a series of tall, standing objects, one of which represented a boat, which Lamb was immediately drawn to. The objects formed part of an Indian funeral ritual, signifying the spirit’s journey into the afterlife.
2 Duffin Stuart_Hope in a Whisper
Hope in a Whisper references the political and religious unrest in the Middle-East using heavily symbolic imagery. The burning book in the centre speaks of censorship of belief and elements of modern graffiti and ancient Hebrew script connect the issues of today with history. Duffin has said of his time in Israel “Although Jerusalem is the closest that we can get to heaven of our own accord, nowhere more than in the Holy City did I experience the loss of paradise, or our separation from the Divine in a more painfully obvious way.”
3 Mack Alastair_Investigations into the Speed of Light #4
Investigations into the Speed of Light #4 began as a study for a monochrome wall-piece for a music room. This work is a final part of a suite of prints influenced by American minimal music or repetitive music of La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass (and parallels the work of the artists, Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelly and Donald Judd). The title refers to Einstein’s conclusion that “the speed of light is constant, in a vacuum,” but that objects can slow down the speed of light; increase the speed of light; jam the light; produce multiple images; produce multiple images and create optical distortions.
4 Anderson Faye_Snowflake
Anderson is predominantly a painter of animals, capturing their essence with intricately rendered, miniature brush strokes. She often paints in egg tempera, a medium popular in the first centuries AD until the late Renaissance.
5 Pottinger Frank
There is a “vernacular” theme running through his work, celebrating the domestic and ordinary aspects of life. Ideas are derived from the landscape, architecture, archaeology and dialect. The forms which evolve are often semi-abstract and ambiguous, with several ideas being represented simultaneously and layering one element upon another.
6 Mackechnie John_Pregonda
Over the years he has made extensive studies of bodies of water in Scotland and further afield. Pregonda is a picturesque beach on the North coast of Menorca, famous for its reddish gold sand.
In this screen print the gently rippling water acquires an ethereal, otherworldly beauty. The crystal clear water is more golden than blue, reflecting the warmth of the sun and sand, almost transporting us to the tranquil Mediterranean Sea.
7 McKenzie Smith Ian_Echo Basin
Like much of his work, Echo Basin has a contemplative and calm character with an oriental sense of balance. The central gesture is reminiscent of graceful Buddhist calligraphy, an influence from his early encounters with Zen philosophy.
8 McMullen Shauna_165 Stars (detail)
This print is part of a series of artworks commissioned by Glasgow Woman’s Library to mark its 21st birthday in 2012. The Library invited 21 female artist to create new work inspired by items and artefacts in its unique collection. For her print, McMullan combed through the hundreds of donated volumes in the GWL lending library, collecting the asterisks and starred marks hidden within the pages. The resulting print brings together these 165 unique symbols in a formalised ‘map’, complete with key, connecting us directly to the hands of these unknown women.
9 Stenhouse Andy_ Scotscape... (2) - Copy
Recently he has begun to focus more on painting and drawing, often working in bright, bold colours. Stenhouse has described his work as “a visual language which is open and free to communicate emotional, conceptual, philosophical and socio-political statements. Works which resonate on a visceral level and inform on an intellectual level.Using colour and composition to create Visual Music; works which generate a response by the nervous system and brain, as much as the eye.”