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ANGIE LEWIN

SPEY PATH & STRANDLINE


ANGIE LEWIN

SPEY PATH & STRANDLINE 2 May - 2 June 2018 www.scottish-gallery.co.uk/angielewin

THE

SCOTTISH

GALLERY

CONTEMPORARY ART SINCE 1842 16 DUNDAS STREET • EDINBURGH EH3 6HZ +44 (0) 131 558 1200 • mail@scottish-gallery.co.uk • scottish-gallery.co.uk


F O R E WO R D It is three years since A Natural Selection, Angie Lewin’s first solo exhibition at The Scottish Gallery which was composed entirely of watercolour paintings. Since then her work and reputation have gone from strength to strength: in 2016 she was elected to membership of the Royal Watercolour Society, and in 2017 she curated the touring exhibition A Printmaker’s Journey for the Hampshire Cultural Trust, which examined the sources of inspiration behind her printmaking practice. At the end of 2017, she cocurated A Fine Line with Lizzie Farey, an exhibition which explored the fine line between art and craft and brought together several disciplines including printmaking, drawing, collage, sculpture and ceramics.

river and sea are all present, inspired by walks in her hometown of Edinburgh, Speyside and Norfolk. Angie is a tireless walker where she takes in all the minutiae of nature; objects and plants are collected and stored in the studio then brought together to create complex compositions which appear effortless, each work is selfcontained and replete like a Shakespeare sonnet. Her watercolours are both personal and universal, an arrangement of the memories which inhabit the objects and paraphernalia which surround her and her careful selection of flora. At its heart, this is honest painting – her work a reflection of the natural world enhanced and enriched in the context of the home and studio.

Spey Path and Strandline focusses once again on Lewin’s watercolour painting in a new collection of still life studies and more abstract works underpinned by the artist’s observation of the changing seasons and the places she has made her home. The recurring theme of shoreline,

In 2020, The Scottish Gallery will host a major exhibition of Angie Lewin’s work which will bring together her acknowledged talent as a printmaker and painter. Christina Jansen The Scottish Gallery


A detail from ‘Calendula, Teabowl and Flint’


After previously working for many years in an entirely rural environment, Angie has, for the past six years divided her working life between studios in Edinburgh and Speyside. Here she shares some thoughts on the differences between these two environments, the relationship between her watercolours and limited edition prints, and her plans for the months ahead. When I first left London in the late 1990s my work became exclusively based on the landscape, its native plants and coastal elements. For many years I lived in two very rural locations; north Norfolk and north-east Scotland and although I still visit and create work based on Norfolk, it’s now the contrasting environments of Edinburgh and Speyside that are my key sources of inspiration. We have lived close to the River Spey for nearly 14 years and so the surrounding landscape has become very familiar to me. I’ve observed the plants along the banks of the river through the seasons, year after year. I don’t feel the urge to garden here as it’s an exposed site with amazing views to Ben Rinnes and the hills around, so I like the house to sit quietly in the landscape. Birch trees, rowan and larch, lichens, yellow rattle, scabious and knapweed define the environment where I walk and draw. Six years ago when we moved from Norfolk to Edinburgh I found myself with a small city garden. I needed to discover ways to

create a relationship with this new space, working out how it could inspire my work in the way that my larger rural garden had done. In Morningside a totally wild garden might seem out of place and so there is a degree of formality to the garden, but I do encourage wild species to self-seed amongst the cultivated plants, providing a counterpoint and a blurring of boundaries. As I introduce new plants and spend time sketching in the garden, harvesting seedheads and cutting flowers for still life compositions, I’m constantly captivated and inspired by the plants that inhabit this intimate space. Ferns grow in the damp stone walls where a burn flows just beyond the garden. Pot marigolds self-seed and their bizarrely spiky seedheads feature in several of my watercolours, as do echinops, crocosmia, astrantia and snowdrops. Cut flowers from friends’ gardens make an appearance in a number of paintings: dahlias and anemones.


I’ve come to realise that how I record what I observe in my garden is really no different to my approach to working in the wider landscape, as it’s the smaller insignificant plants that I will focus in on when sitting on the ground, sketching in these remote locations too. Both my studios contain natural reference material gathered from Speyside, Norfolk, the west coast of Scotland (from Durness to Eriskay) and from further afield including previous trips to Italy and Spain. My still life compositions often contain elements from several of these locations. I love to walk every day, both in the city and country. Blackford Hill and the Hermitage are my daily dog walks in Edinburgh and it’s a privilege to have such a wild space so close to home. Views to the Pentlands and across the Firth of Forth give a sense of openness and a connection to the wilder landscape. I trained as a printmaker at the Central School of Art and Design in London and, although I’ve continuously made drawings and paintings since childhood, it’s really just in the last ten years that I’ve been exhibiting my watercolours. I’ve always used watercolour


combined with ink, gouache and pencil crayon to create studies in my sketchbooks and on loose sheets which I reference when I’m back in my studio working on my prints or designs for textiles and wallpapers. I’m often, possibly subconsciously, limiting the range of colours as I’m already thinking about the printmaking process ahead, perhaps cutting up and collaging a series of these rough sketches when working out a composition. When I’m making paintings in the studio for an exhibition I love experimenting with the freedom that watercolour offers me. There’s a clarity and an immediacy to the transparent layering of paint which has a strong link with how I build up colour in my limited edition prints. There’s no doubt that the creative processes involved when working as a printmaker, designer and painter and the locations that inspire me are closely intertwined. Whilst I’m often indoors in the studio, when working on a new print edition, or a new still life painting, it’s my time spent outdoors, observing, walking and sketching, that is ultimately the starting point for all of my work.

Later this year I’ll be spending time hiking in the Alpujarras in southern Spain and drawing the native flora. Over the past twenty years I’ve visited the Spanish Pyrenees regularly and in 2011 I was an artist in residence in the mountains north of Granada. I’m looking forward to continuing to try to capture the essence of the wild flowers that epitomise these mountainous regions. I’ll also be heading to North Uist again later in the summer where I’ll continue sketching the incredible diversity of plants growing in the coastal grasslands of the machair. I can’t imagine not spending time here each year where the seascapes and birdlife enrich my experience of working in the landscape. Angie Lewin Edinburgh, April 2018


1 / Lions and Feathers, Glenarder Watercolour, 58 x 77 cms


2 / Spey Path Lichen and Seedheads Watercolour, 58 x 77 cms


Opposite: 3 / Late Summer Flowers and Ferns Watercolour, 71.5 x 53.5 cms Above: 4 / Anemones and Artichokes Watercolour, 45 x 36 cms


5 / Cup with Feathers and Seaweed Watercolour, 49.5 x 67 cms


6 / Birds, Nests and Spey Catkins Watercolour, 34.5 x 59 cms


7 / Calendula, Teabowl and Flint Watercolour, 35 x 30.5 cms


8 / Primula and Guyatt Mug Watercolour, 40 x 31.5 cms


9 / Cup with Catkins and Feathers Watercolour, 45.5 x 45.5 cms


10 / Lichens and Feathers, March Snow Watercolour, 50 x 54 cms


11 / Pink Anemones Watercolour, 65 x 51.5 cms


12 / Dahlias, Dark Sky Watercolour, 46.5 x 52.5 cms


13 / Feathers and Lichen with Mochaware Shard Watercolour, 12 x 17 cms


14 / Calendula and Feathers Watercolour, 12 x 17 cms


15 / Spey Lichen with Catkins Watercolour, 36.5 x 40 cms


16 / Seedheads and Olive Trees, Le Caviere Watercolour, 28.5 x 35 cms


17 / Winter, Glenarder Watercolour, 25 x 33 cms


18 / Snowdrop Cup Watercolour, 25 x 23 cms


19 / Blue Bowl with Ivy and Seaweed Watercolour, 14 x 24 cms


20 / Bain’s Beach Blue Watercolour, 12 x 17 cms


BIOGRAPHY Angie Lewin RWS RE Born 1963, Macclesfield, Cheshire Education 2003-2004 2002-2003 1997-1998 1996-1997 1986-1987 1983-1986 1982-1983

Postgraduate Glass and Fine Art - Central St. Martins Postgraduate Glass and Architecture - Central St. Martins City & Guilds Garden Design - Capel Manor RHS General Certificate in Horticulture - Capel Manor Postgraduate Printmaking - Camberwell School of Arts & Crafts BA (Hons) Fine Art Printmaking - Central School of Art & Design Art Foundation - Northwich College of Art

Societies The Royal Watercolour Society The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers The Society of Wood Engravers The Art Workers’ Guild Public collections London Institute Aberystwyth University Ashmolean Museum Victoria & Albert Museum


Selected recent exhibitions 2017 2017 2017 2016 2015 2015 2014 2014 2014 2013 2012 2012 2011

A Fine Line, City Art Centre, Edinburgh (co-curator) Airs Reels & Ballads, St Jude’s at The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh A Printmaker’s Journey, Hampshire (curator) Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool (solo exhibition) The Masters - Relief Printmaking, The Bankside Gallery, London (curator) A Natural Selection, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh (solo exhibition) Cambridge Contemporary Art (joint exhibition) Designing The Everyday, Towner, Eastbourne (joint exhibition) St Jude’s in the City, The Townhouse, Fournier Street, London (joint exhibition) A Natural Line, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (solo exhibition) Revealed: A Familiar Landscape, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh (joint exhibition) St Jude’s In The City, Bankside Gallery, London (joint exhibition) Summer Exhibition, The Royal Academy, London

Awards, commissions and other achievements Aberystwyth University, School of Art Purchase Prizes 2008 and 2011. Co-founded textile design company St Jude’s in 2005. Illustrations for publishers Penguin, Merrell and Conran Octopus plus book jackets for the poems of Carol Ann Duffy for Picador and Shelley for Faber & Faber. In 2010 Merrell publish ‘Angie Lewin - Plants and Places’. In 2010 the wood engraving ‘Alphabet and Feathers’ was included in the V&A Cherry On The Cake collection and in 2015 a new screen print, ‘Honesty Blue’ was also commissioned by the V&A. Fabric designs for Liberty for their Autumn/Winter 2010 collection.


Published by The Scottish Gallery to coincide with the exhibition ANGIE LEWIN Spey Path and Strandline 2 May - 2 June 2018 The exhibition can be viewed online at www.scottish-gallery.co.uk/angielewin ISBN: 978-1-910267-79-0 Designed by Simon Lewin Portraits and studio photography by Alun Callender Photography of watercolours by John McKenzie Printed by J Thomson Colour Printers All rights reserved. No part of this catalogue may be reproduced in any form by print, photocopy or by any other means, without the permission of the copyright holders and of the publishers.

THE

SCOTTISH

GALLERY

CONTEMPORARY ART SINCE 1842 16 DUNDAS STREET • EDINBURGH EH3 6HZ +44 (0) 131 558 1200 • mail@scottish-gallery.co.uk • scottish-gallery.co.uk


LOOKING AHEAD

Future watercolours

My next major series of watercolours will be exhibited at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh during Autumn 2020. If you’d like to receive details of this exhibition and the paintings I’ll be exhibiting nearer the time, please subscribe to my e-mail newsletter: bit.ly/angie_lewin_news


THE

SCOTTISH

GALLERY

CONTEMPORARY ART SINCE 1842 16 DUNDAS STREET • EDINBURGH EH3 6HZ +44 (0) 131 558 1200 • mail@scottish-gallery.co.uk • scottish-gallery.co.uk

Profile for St Jude's

Angie Lewin - Spey Path & Strandline  

The catalogue for Angie Lewin's 2018 exhibition of watercolours at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh

Angie Lewin - Spey Path & Strandline  

The catalogue for Angie Lewin's 2018 exhibition of watercolours at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh

Profile for stjudes