Again, the Elgin Artists gathered for its annual Christmas Lunch in 2021 in Jan Ryan’s beautiful garden on Friday 3 December. This year, the lunch took place just a few days after the Open Studio exhibition, so much of the discussion centred on the success of the exhibition and the generosity of Peter Jones in making his workshop available to mount it.
Although we had about two dozen Elgin Artists and Associates in attendance, we missed Peter and Liz Jones, Rodney and Maryann Wulff and Mick Adamson, as a consequence of medical procedures, treatment and/or rehabilitation. It was wonderful that Barry Pullen and Mary Adamson could join us.
As usual, Jan turned on perfect weather and mention was made of Bill’s sketch of the old studio, which was on the cover of this year’s exhibition catalogue. The day concluded with plans being made for further excursions and gallery visits in 2022.
Welcome to the 2020 Elgin Artists virtual art exhibition. Normally we hold our exhibition in our studio but the coronavirus has put paid to that and so here we are in the ether. Thank you for joining with us.
Despite the restrictions placed upon us this year, some of our members have been prolific in their output while for others, like me, it has been less so. So our exhibition this year is a mixture of new works and old, but it nevertheless conveys the variety of our styles and themes. And this is what this exhibition is about. It showcases the work of 14 of our artists and enables you to see the different styles of each of us, but more importantly we hope it demonstrates the joy we get from painting and sculpting.
We have added a new dimension to past exhibitions in that we are also including poetry in our exhibition. Ron Hunt will read some of his poetry which viewers can access via the link provided.
The studio is very important in our lives and we are thrilled to report that we have shifted into a new studio only a stone’s throw from the old one. It is located in Elgin Place – which is in the lane behind the pub over the road from the old studio. In fact we are filming this introduction in the studio. It is in the studio where we enjoy the friendship of the group and the cross-fertilisation of ideas – both artistic and non-artistic – and we hope that we will be able to hold our 2021 exhibition there.
With the exception perhaps of Ron Muller – who has been painting full time for many years – our artists have mostly discovered art after busy careers. So our work is still evolving as we learn more and our paintings are encapsulated in a poem called Oil Paints by Alice Baker.
I am a canvas
Painted in harsh strokes
With kind words
Mistakes blend in
Over time and diligence
But are never erased
They sit quietly
Under layers of oil paint
Built into my foundation
Despite the toil we love it. There is nothing more satisfying in art than capturing a moment in time or an expression of feeling, and there is nothing more satisfying than doing it and sharing it with others. We approach our work in different ways. Some make a raw sketch and some just start painting and follow their instinct but for all, the brush on the canvas or paper expresses their emotions. Our art is a way of expressing ourselves. I think there is a need in all of us to express ourselves in some way and for us it is in our art.
Finally, I think that our art celebrates our sense of place and the beauty that surrounds us. Most of us celebrate landscape. The images might not necessarily be beautiful – such as in fire or drought – but they convey the message that we love the earth and we should nurture and protect its nature.
If you wish to purchase a work or discuss it, please contact the artist via the contact details provided.
I want to thank all the people who have worked so hard to facilitate this exhibition. It was Dee Clements’ inspiration to provide a virtual exhibition and Gordon Carter, with the assistance of Peter Jones, were the webmaster gurus who pulled it all together. Derek Skues, by his own admission, provided quality assurance and he and Rodney Wulff were responsible for the development of the poster we used for advertising.
We hope that you might pour a glass of wine and join us in our exhibition and enjoy the journey. We also hope that you might keep in touch with us via the website.