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NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

7TH - 30TH AUGUST 2009


On the front of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, set into the red sandstone façade and surrounded by the statues of the greatest figures of Scotland’s history, is a large stone tablet which tells the public walking along Queen Street that the building is ‘dedicated to the illustration of Scottish history’. Pass through the imposing front door, guarded by the stern and silent effigies of Wallace and Bruce, you enter the glorious Main Hall. This is Scotland’s Valhalla. Here are commemorated the greatest men and women of our country’s story - recorded in marble, bronze and paint. The figure of Caledonia presides over the decorative frieze that runs the four sides of the square hall. All the most famous characters of Scotland’s past are there at least up to the time it was painted by William Hole in the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign. The frieze acts as both an introduction and an index of what can be found elsewhere in the Gallery. When the building reopens in November 2011, after a two and a half years refurbishment, there will be three floors of exhibitions and displays exploring Scotland’s history, investigating reputations and challenging myths. We are calling our transformational project Portrait of the Nation.


The Main Hall exemplifies the Victorian concept of the power of the individual to effect change and the elevation of that individual to the status of a hero. The Portrait Gallery was conceived during the height of the British Empire as an institution that had a moral duty to instruct and inspire through the example of great lives. Nowadays we have a rather different view of what constitutes greatness: We can recognise heroism in the unsung lives of our friends and acquaintances. The new Portrait Gallery will reflect our changed perspective but we intend to continue to inspire and instruct. In the last weeks before the building closed for renovation, we mounted Rough Cut Nation. The talented artists who took part in that project updated William Hole’s frieze. Their inspiring paintings challenged the notion of the great and good of Victorian times. They also challenged the cult of celebrity which has become such a feature of our media-dominated age. The Portrait Gallery is the right place to question values and to debate the present as well as the past. It will be a place to understand what Scotland was, what it is and what it might become.


On the front of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, set into the red sandstone façade and surrounded by the statues of the greatest figures of Scotland’s history, is a large stone tablet which tells the public walking along Queen Street that the building is ‘dedicated to the illustration of Scottish history’. Pass through the imposing front door, guarded by the stern and silent effigies of Wallace and Bruce, you enter the glorious Main Hall. This is Scotland’s Valhalla. Here are commemorated the greatest men and women of our country’s story - recorded in marble, bronze and paint. The figure of Caledonia presides over the decorative frieze that runs the four sides of the square hall. All the most famous characters of Scotland’s past are there at least up to the time it was painted by William Hole in the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign. The frieze acts as both an introduction and an index of what can be found elsewhere in the Gallery. When the building reopens in November 2011, after a two and a half years refurbishment, there will be three floors of exhibitions and displays exploring Scotland’s history, investigating reputations challenging We ups are Blowing up myand images to createmyths. the paste calling our Portrait redefined howtransformational I create work andproject embedding them of the Nation. within the framework of other artists concepts and compositions was one of the most exciting parts of the The Main Hall exemplifies Victorian It reminded process. It was about flow andthe interaction. of the but power the individual meconcept of art school wasofamazingly free to of effect ego. change and the elevation of that individual to the status of a hero.

I agreed immediately to take part and almost as quickly began to worry about working so openly and collaboratively with other artists who’s work I deeply admired. Im not a street artist and before this project didn’t work to the kind of scale that street artists often do so that was another area of pre install anxiety.


Blowing up my images to create the paste ups redefined how I create work and embedding them within the framework of other artists concepts and compositions was one of the most exciting parts of the process. It was about flow and interaction. It reminded me of art school but was amazingly free of ego.

I agreed immediately to take part and almost as quickly began to worry about working so openly and collaboratively with other artists who’s work I deeply admired. Im not a street artist and before this project didn’t work to the kind of scale that street artists often do so that was another area of pre install anxiety.


On the front of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, set into the red sandstone façade and surrounded by the statues of the greatest figures of Scotland’s history, is a large stone tablet which tells the public walking along Queen Street that the building is ‘dedicated to the illustration of Scottish history’. Pass through the imposing front door, guarded by the stern and silent effigies of Wallace and Bruce, you enter the glorious Main Hall. This is Scotland’s Valhalla. Here are commemorated the greatest men and women of our country’s story - recorded in marble, bronze and paint. The figure of Caledonia presides over the decorative frieze that runs the four sides of the square hall. All the most famous characters of Scotland’s past are there at least up to the time it was painted by William Hole in the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign. The frieze acts as both an introduction and an index of what can be found elsewhere in the Gallery. When the building reopens in November 2011, after a two and a half years refurbishment, there will be three floors of exhibitions and displays exploring Scotland’s history, investigating reputations and challenging myths. We are calling our transformational project Portrait of the Nation. The Main Hall exemplifies the Victorian concept of the power of the individual to effect change and the elevation of that individual to the status of a hero.


I made large paste-ups of my existing works, at the suggestion of everyone at the planning meetings, agreeing that my painting style was too timeconsuming to work within the allotted project. This also meant that I was using an accepted street art technique, and many more of my images could be included. I had to work out which of my characters and creatures were really to do with Scottish identity.

Here are commemorated the greatest men and women of our country’s story - recorded in marble, bronze and paint. The figure of Caledonia presides over the decorative frieze that runs the four sides of the square hall. All the most famous characters of Scotland’s past are there at least up to the time it was painted by William Hole in the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign.


On the front of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, set into the red sandstone façade and surrounded by the statues of the greatest figures of Scotland’s history, is a large stone tablet which tells the public walking along Queen Street that the building is ‘dedicated to the illustration of Scottish history’. Pass through the imposing front door, guarded by the stern and silent effigies of Wallace and Bruce, you enter the glorious Main Hall. This is Scotland’s Valhalla. Here are commemorated the greatest men and women of our country’s story - recorded in marble, bronze and paint. The figure of Caledonia presides over the decorative frieze that runs the four sides of the square hall. All the most famous characters of Scotland’s past are there at least up to the time it was painted by William Hole in the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign. The frieze acts as both an introduction and an index of what can be found elsewhere in the Gallery. When the building reopens in November 2011, after a two and a half years refurbishment, there will be three floors of exhibitions and displays exploring Scotland’s history, investigating reputations and challenging myths. We are calling our transformational project Portrait of the Nation. The Main Hall exemplifies the Victorian concept of the power of the individual to effect change and the elevation of that individual to the status of a hero.

I agreed immediately to take part and almost as quickly began to worry about working so openly and collaboratively with other artists who’s work I deeply admired.

I’m not a street artist and before this project didn’t work to the kind of scale that street artists often do so that was another area of pre install anxiety.


I agreed immediately to take part and almost as quickly began to worry about working so openly and collaboratively with other artists who’s work I deeply admired.

I’m not a street artist and before this project didn’t work to the kind of scale that street artists often do so that was another area of pre install anxiety.


Blowing up my images to create the paste ups redefined how I create work and embedding them within the framework of other artists concepts and compositions was one of the most exciting parts of the process. It was about flow and interaction. It reminded me of art school but was amazingly free of ego.

I agreed immediately to take part and almost as quickly began to worry about working so openly and collaboratively with other artists who’s work I deeply admired. Im not a street artist and before this project didn’t work to the kind of scale that street artists often do so that was another area of pre install anxiety.


3

2 8

5

4 3

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1. Elph 2. Pete Martin 3. Kirsty Whiten 4. Sarah Kwan 5. Rachel Levine 6. Mike Inglis 7. Fraser Gray 8. Skint

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7


Blowing up my images to create the paste ups redefined how I create work and embedding them within the framework of other artists concepts and compositions was one of the most exciting parts of the process. It was about flow and interaction. It reminded me of art school but was amazingly free of ego.

I agreed immediately to take part and almost as quickly began to worry about working so openly and collaboratively with other artists who’s work I deeply admired. Im not a street artist and before this project didn’t work to the kind of scale that street artists often do so that was another area of pre install anxiety.


Kirsty Whiten has exhibited internationally and been involved with numerous projects over the last 10 years. Whiten initially gained notice for her warped, large-scale portrait paintings and highly detailed photorealistic drawings which have earned a year’s residency in Paris, numerous awards and bursaries and been exhibited as far a field as Cologne, Den Haag, Austria and Melbourne.

The Portrait Gallery was conceived during the height of the British Empire as an institution that had a moral duty to instruct and inspire through the example of great lives. Nowadays we have a rather different view of what constitutes greatness: We can recognise heroism in the unsung lives of our friends and acquaintances.


2

1

5

3 4 1. Elph 2. Pete Martin 3. Kirsty Whiten 4. Mike Inglis 5. Skint


Kirsty Whiten has exhibited internationally and been involved with numerous projects over the last 10 years. Whiten initially gained notice for her warped, large-scale portrait paintings and highly detailed photorealistic drawings which have earned a year’s residency in Paris, numerous awards and bursaries and been exhibited as far a field as Cologne, Den Haag, Austria and Melbourne.

The Portrait Gallery was conceived during the height of the British Empire as an institution that had a moral duty to instruct and inspire through the example of great lives. Nowadays we have a rather different view of what constitutes greatness: We can recognise heroism in the unsung lives of our friends and acquaintances.


I made large paste-ups of my existing works, at the suggestion of everyone at the planning meetings, agreeing that my painting style was too timeconsuming to work within the allotted project. This also meant that I was using an accepted street art technique, and many more of my images could be included. I had to work out which of my characters and creatures were really to do with Scottish identity.

Here are commemorated the greatest men and women of our country’s story - recorded in marble, bronze and paint. The figure of Caledonia presides over the decorative frieze that runs the four sides of the square hall. All the most famous characters of Scotland’s past are there at least up to the time it was painted by William Hole in the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign.


3

4 5 7

1

6 2 1

1.Pete Martin 2. Skint 3. Elph 4. Johanna Basford 5. Mike Inglis 6. Sarah Kwan 7. Aaron Sinclair

2


made large paste-ups of my existing works, at the ggestion of everyone at the planning meetings, reeing that my painting style was too timensuming to work within the allotted project. This so meant that I was using an accepted street art chnique, and many more of my images could be cluded. I had to work out which of my characters d creatures were really to do with Scottish identity.

Here are commemorated the greatest men and women of our country’s story - recorded in marble, bronze and paint. The figure of Caledonia presides over the decorative frieze that runs the four sides of the square hall. All the most famous characters of Scotland’s past are there at least up to the time it was painted by William Hole in the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign.


I made large paste-ups of my existing works, at the suggestion of everyone at the planning meetings, agreeing that my painting style was too timeconsuming to work within the allotted project. This also meant that I was using an accepted street art technique, and many more of my images could be included. I had to work out which of my characters and creatures were really to do with Scottish identity.

Here are commemorated the greatest men and women of our country’s story - recorded in marble, bronze and paint. The figure of Caledonia presides over the decorative frieze that runs the four sides of the square hall. All the most famous characters of Scotland’s past are there at least up to the time it was painted by William Hole in the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign.


On the front of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, set into the red sandstone façade and surrounded by the statues of the greatest figures of Scotland’s history, is a large stone tablet which tells the public walking along Queen Street that the building is ‘dedicated to the illustration of Scottish history’. Pass through the imposing front door, guarded by the stern and silent effigies of Wallace and Bruce, you enter the glorious Main Hall. This is Scotland’s Valhalla. Here are commemorated the greatest men and women of our country’s story - recorded in marble, bronze and paint. The figure of Caledonia presides over the decorative frieze that runs the four sides of the square hall. All the most famous characters of Scotland’s past are there at least up to the time it was painted by William Hole in the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign. The frieze acts as both an introduction and an index of what can be found elsewhere in the Gallery. When the building reopens in November 2011, after a two and a half years refurbishment, there will be three floors of exhibitions and displays exploring Scotland’s history, investigating reputations and challenging myths. We are calling our transformational project Portrait of the Nation. The Main Hall exemplifies the Victorian concept of the power of the individual to effect change and the elevation of that individual to the status of a hero.


Tut Vu Vu The John Knox Sex Club An Echo Meursault Withered Hand Zoey Van Goey Rob St John Emily Scott Unicorn Kid X-Liontamer St Judes Infirmary (curated in association with Avalanche Records)


On the front of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, set into the red sandstone façade and surrounded by the statues of the greatest figures of Scotland’s history, is a large stone tablet which tells the public walking along Queen Street that the building is ‘dedicated to the illustration of Scottish history’. Pass through the imposing front door, guarded by the stern and silent effigies of Wallace and Bruce, you enter the glorious Main Hall. This is Scotland’s Valhalla. Here are commemorated the greatest men and women of our country’s story - recorded in marble, bronze and paint. The figure of Caledonia presides over the decorative frieze that runs the four sides of the square hall. All the most famous characters of Scotland’s past are there at least up to the time it was painted by William Hole in the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign. The frieze acts as both an introduction and an index of what can be found elsewhere in the Gallery. When the building reopens in November 2011, after a two and a half years refurbishment, there will be three floors of exhibitions and displays exploring Scotland’s history, investigating reputations and challenging myths. We are calling our transformational project Portrait of the Nation. The Main Hall exemplifies the Victorian concept of the power of the individual to effect change and the elevation of that individual to the status of a hero. The Portrait Gallery was conceived during the height of the British Empire as an institution that had a moral duty to instruct and inspire through the example of great lives. Nowadays we have a rather different view of what constitutes greatness: We can recognise heroism in the unsung lives of our friends and acquaintances. The new Portrait Gallery will reflect our changed perspective but we intend to continue to inspire and instruct. In the last weeks before the building closed for renovation, we mounted Rough Cut Nation.


Martin McGuinness

Aaron Sinclair

Johanna Basford

Skint

Pete Martin

Sarah Kwan

Mhairi Towler

Kirsty Whiten

Clare Brennan

Mike Inglis

Paco and Marc Delaye

DUFI (Fin Macrae and Al McInnes)

Derek Lodge

Rachel Levine

Yann Seznec

Helen Gallogly

Janie Nicoll

Jason Nelson

Fraser Gray

Elph

martinrmcguinness@yahoo.co.uk

scrap-art@hotmail.co.uk

m.towler@dundee.ac.uk

factflood@hotmail.co.uk

derekscottlodge@yahoo.co.uk

helen.gallogly@googlemail.com

frasergray@live.com

aaronsinclair80@hotmail.com

07934499701

kirstywhiten@googlemail.com

iantayac@yahoo.co.uk

rachellevine80@hotmail.co.uk

janienicoll@yahoo.co.uk

info@akaelph.com

info@johannabasford.com

sttkwan@hotmail.co.uk

clare_ellen2000@yahoo.com

dufi.art@googlemail.com

yannseznec@gmail.com

jason_kit_nelson@yahoo.com


Rough Cut Nation  

An exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland